By 2050, The Ocean Will Contain More Trash Than Actual Fish
Is the weighing guilt of that one time you littered at a music festival eating away at your soul? No? Well, get ready for the guilt trip of the century. In 2050, our one and only ocean will be filled with more garbage than its natural inhabitants, fish. We hate to be Debbie Downers, but the sea is screwed.
The World Economic Forum released a report stating that the use of plastics have “increased twentyfold in the past half-century, and is expected to double again in the next 20 years.”
The problem stems from the fact that the majority of plastics are only used for a short amount of time, and then not properly recycled. If the garbage in the ocean doesn’t affect the animals that live there, the toxins that leak from it will. This is damaging marine life, their food, and the ocean’s ecosystem, but you already knew that. It’s a familiar sob story, one that we all saw coming. But is anyone even doing anything about it, or are we just waiting for the ocean to implode?
The New Plastics Economy, a report created to rethink the way we produce and use plastic, is coming in to clean up our mess. “This report is designed to initiate—not conclude—a deeper explanation of the New Plastics Economy,” it states. The content is based on interviews from over 180 experts and the compilation of over 200 related reports, so they seem to know what they’re talking about.
If you think that plastic is the villain in this story, you’re wrong. Plastic is a necessary commodity in our world; it contributes to preventing food waste, as well as reducing fuel consumption by lightening transportation loads. We just need to be more responsible with the disposal of it.
One city is taking a great step forward. San Francisco recently prohibited the sale of plastic bottles on city property that are 21 ounces or less, in an effort to reduce unnecessary waste. Violators could face a fine of $1000, a hefty fee for such a small sale. There are a few exceptions in the ban, which is not restricted to sporting events. Food trucks, as well as large nonprofits, have until 2018 to conform to this regulation—a generous grace period.
“I want to remind people that not long ago, our world was not addicted to plastic water bottles,” San Francisco supervisor David Chiu told SF Gate. “Before [the 1990s], for centuries, everybody managed to stay hydrated.”
Stay tuned to Milk for more soul-crushing updates on the Earth.
Main image by Kathryn Chadason. Additional image via Net Bag.