One quarter of a ton of plastic enters our oceans every second. That is one full lorry every minute, 1,440 lorries every day and eight million tons every year. About 94% of all this plastic sinks to the seabed. According to the Ellen McArthur Foundation, if we continue in this way our oceans will have more plastic than fish by 2050. We produce more plastic every year instead of less. We have gone from 311 million tons in 2014 to an estimated 622 million tons in 20 years. This is equivalent to 622 billion kilos!
The greatest contributor to the Plastic Soup is litter from land. We are all responsible for this, from consumers to industry and governments. Plastic litter is mostly made up of single-use packaging materials. About 3% of this ultimately ends up in the water. Reducing single-use plastics will have the biggest effect on the Plastic Soup.
In terms of waste processing, there are huge differences among countries and regions and there is a direct correlation to the leaking of plastic into the environment. If reuse and recycling can prevent plastic from being dumped, it will automatically trigger an enormous reduction of plastic leakage into the environment. Much more recycling is thus needed, especially in countries where landfills are the norm. PSF is working on defining its vision on this complicated issue.