It seems silly that we’d flush plastic into the sea, but that’s what we do. Baggies, lighters, and little bits of styrofoam are adding to the mass that may outweigh fish by 2050. They are also mistaken for jellyfish, shrimp, and plankton, further making it difficult for sea life to live. The situation is dangerous, and vastly underestimated.
“The sprawling patch of detritus – spanning 1.6m sq km, (617,763 sq miles) more than twice the size of France – contains at least 79,000 tons of plastic,… This mass of waste is up to 16 times larger than previous estimates” – The Guardian
Plastic is impressive. Made correctly, used properly, it can be one of the most durable materials available. Unfortunately, its versatility and inexpensive production means we use it for things that are thrown away after one use or are too expensive to recycle profitably. Cleaning it up isn’t easy, and the job just got 16 times tougher.