Oceans To Hold More Plastic Than Fish by 2050
Oceans Could Hold More Plastic Than Fish by 2050
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There will be more plastic than fish in the world’soceans by 2050 unless more recycling takes place. That is what a new report from the World EconomicForum and Ellen MacArthur Foundation warns.
If the current trend continues, the report said, oceanswill contain one ton of plastic for every three tons of fishin 2025.
By 2050, plastics will weigh more than fish, the reportsaid.
The problem is that each year at least 8 million tons ofplastics end up in oceans around the world.
The report said this is the same as dumping thecontents of one garbage truck into the ocean everyminute.
Not all plastic ends up in the ocean because someonethrows a plastic bottle into the water.
Plastic containers and other trash thrown onto streetsand sidewalks often are swept into oceans. The debristravels from storm drains during rain storms, said theenvironmental group Marine Defenders.
Some end up in gyres. A gyre is a big whirlpool thattraps and moves the plastic in circles.
Unlike other types of trash in the ocean, the plastic never bio-degrades. Thatmeans it does not break down.
There is a way to slow the amount of plastics going into the oceans -- peoplecan recycle more. That is a major recommendation of the report by the WorldEconomic Forum and Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
The report’s authors say that currently only about 14 percent of plastics arerecycled.
It said research in Europe shows as much as 53 percent of plastic could berecycled using available technology.
The report says that another solution is using less plastic for packagingproducts. But that is not likely to happen, the report’s authors say.
“Given plastic packaging’s many benefits, both the likelihood and desirabilityof an across-the-board drastic reduction in the volume of plastic packagingused is clearly low,” the report said.
But the authors note reducing the use of plastics should be tried “wherepossible.”
For decades, scientists warned that plastics are killing fish. The NaturalResources Defense Council said research shows that fish are dying fromchoking after eating plastics. Another cause of death is that plastics cause“intestinal blockage and starvation,” the environmental group said.
I’m Mario Ritter.
Bruce Alpert reported and researched this story for VOA Learning English.Mario Ritter was the editor.
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Words in This Story
recycling – n. to make something new from something that has been usedbefore
trend – n. a general direction of change : a way of behaving, proceeding, etc., that is developing and becoming more common
dump – v. to put (something) somewhere in a quick and careless way
garbage – n. things that are no longer useful or wanted and that have beenthrown out
packaging – n. material used to enclose or contain something
choke – v. to become unable to breathe usually because something getsstuck in your throat