More plastic than fish in the sea by 2050 says Ellen MacArthur

Photograph: Hotli Simanjuntak/EPA

Background on ocean littering

The effect that plastic is having on our environment and ecosystems is staggering. It is estimated that by 2025 there will be 1 tonne of plastic in the ocean for every 3 tonnes of fish. Furthermore, by 2050 oceans are expected to contain more plastics than fish by weight (source: Ellen Macarthur Foundation, 2016). Over the last 10 years we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century. Plastics cause more than USD 13 billion of damage to marine ecosystems per year. Animals ingest and become entangled in our discarded rubbish. Local marine environments suffer, leading to lower fish and seafood stocks. Shipping and tourism industries can be damaged, while humans unwittingly consume harmful pollutants when eating contaminated seafood.