Plastic pollution is taking over the oceans. plastic waste will triple globally by 2060, reveals a study commissioned by the OECD.
In a 2016 report titled, “The New Plastics Economy,” the World Economic Forum (WEF) noted that global plastic production totaled 311 million metric tons in 2014, up from just 15 million metric tons in 1964.  The WEF also anticipated that the total plastic production would double to more than 600 million metric tons by 2036. As traditional demands for oil—vehicle fuels—are declining as the transport sector is increasingly electrified, the oil industry is seeing plastics as a key output that can make up for losses in other markets, noted a November 2021 article in the Conversation. Plastic is also a major threat to wildlife, and in particular, marine species, as so much plastic waste ends up in the world’s oceans. Unless we take concrete steps and “change how we produce, use and dispose of plastic, the amount of plastic waste entering aquatic ecosystems could nearly triple from 9-14 million… [metric tons] per year in 2016 to a projected 23-37 million… [metric tons] per year by 2040,” according to the United Nations Environment Program.

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