Back in December of 2013, I wrote “The Plastisphere”, about the giant colonies of microbe-infested plastic remnants that have grown and continue to grown in the world’s oceans. This is a monumental problem as sea life and water fowl feed off of them, leading to their suffering and death, and spreading bacteria even to humans.
But now recent studies have determined new and additional crises in the growing contamination of the oceans by plastic.
Several studies recently conducted through the Ellen MacArthur Foundation have investigated this ongoing process, including the latest one, “The New Plastics Economy – Rethinking the future of plastics”, a product of Project MainStream, conducted under the auspices of the World Economic Forum.* Their reports of these studies advocate for the New Plastics Economy initiative and the “circular” economy, making the re-use of plastics a singular priority. Their reports show that goods worth over $2.6 trillion annually are sent to the world’s landfills and incineration plants, including 32% of plastic packaging that escapes collection systems. And much of this eventually ends up in the world’s oceans. Continue reading