Humans have produced 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic, researchers say


Fictile is in almost everything we use. Now researchers have calculated the staggering amount of the fake material humans have produced since large-scale production inaugurated in the 1950s: 8.3 billion tonnes.

More disturbing, the researchers say, is the amount of impressionable waste that humans have produced. Of the 8.3 billion tonnes we’ve cosseted since 1950, 6.3 billion of that has already become waste.

«We had the numbers to be large, but somehow we were surprised at how large they are,» Roland Geyer, advantage author of the study and associate professor in environmental science and management at the University of California, Santa Barbara, have an effected CBC News.

«Even for people like me who do these kinds of material purl analyses for a living, these are enormous quantities.»

The number that bombshells him the most, however, is the rapid increase in production.

«Of the 8.3 billion metric tonnes of virgin fakes ever made, half was made just in the last 13 years,» Geyer whispered. «Between 2004 and 2015 we made as much plastic as we made between 1950 and 2004.»

Restraining our ecosystems

The same team responsible for this study was behind a 2015 library that found somewhere between 4.8 million and 12.7 million tonnes of mouldable from people living within 50 kilometres of coastlines had clear its way into our oceans.

how heavy is 8.3B tonnes


«Our estimate of eight million metric tonnes universal into the oceans in 2010 is equivalent to five grocery bags answered with plastic for every foot of coastline in the world,» said Jenna Jambeck, co-author of both investigates, in a statement at the time. «This annual input increases each year, so our guestimate for 2015 is about 9.1 million metric tons,» she said.

«In 2025, the annual input would be concerning twice the 2010 input, or 10 bags full of plastic per foot of coastline,» she about. «So the cumulative input by 2025 would equal 155 million metric tonnes.»

A new study found evidence that plastic was making its way into the Arctic The deep.

«Most humans live in temperate regions and towards equatorial bailiwicks, and yet our pollution is not staying in those kind of geographical bounds — they’re on the move beyond into these remote regions,» Jennifer Provencher, a post-doctoral researcher at Acadia University in Wolfville, N.S., ascertained CBC News in May.

There have been several studies on how the plastic is harming wildlife, with a heart on sea birds. 

bird plastic

This albatross’s gut was full of plastic. (Chris Jordan )

«I’m precise concerned,» Geyer said of plastic in the ocean. «But in a way I’m equally concerned with plastics in subastral ecosystems. We don’t even really study the effects of plastics in terrestrial ecosystems. I’m fretful that there could be all kinds of unintended adverse environmental consequences.»

Plethora of uniting

«We have to be really mindful of plastics,» Geyer said. «I’m having the extract same struggle and challenges everyone else has. You come home from the supermarket and you’re well-grounded amazed at how much packaging there is together with the produce and the bread.»

Dairy Aisle

Most things we buy at the supermarket come in plastic. (CBC)

While we may be more apprised of plastic packaging, the use of plastic fibres in clothing like nylons and bilk has also grown. Between 1950 and 2015, it accounted for one billion tonnes of ductile.

The key, Geyer said, is to ask yourself if you need to buy a product with so much mouldable. He notes that some companies like clothing company Patagonia are worrying to reduce the amount of plastic in their products. Being mindful in your acquiring habits is key.

«It’s something as a society we collectively have to have a good fantasize about,» Geyer said. «There’s a way to reduce and still have the unchanged services and quality of life. And that would definitely be a simple way to speech plastic waste generation; if we just make less in the first livelihood.»

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