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2050年海洋中的塑料垃圾将超过鱼类

There will be more plastic than fish in terms of weight in the world's oceans by 2050, the World Economic Forum warned Tuesday.

1月19日,世界经济论坛发出警告:到2050年,世界各大海洋中的塑料垃圾总重量将超过海中鱼类。

Plastic has become one of the world's most popular materials, combining amazing functionality and very low production costs. Its use has increased 20-fold in the past 50 years and is expected to double again in the next 20 years.

Almost everybody in the world comes into contact with it -- over a quarter of all plastic is used for packaging, the most popular use of the material.

But only 14% of plastic packaging is collected for recycling. The reuse rate is terrible compared to other materials -- 58% of paper and up to 90% of iron and steel gets recycled.

It gets worse. Almost a third of all plastic packaging escapes collection systems and ends up in nature or clogging up infrastructure.

"After a short first-use cycle, 95% of plastic packaging material value, or $80 billion to $120 billion annually, is lost to the economy," the WEF said in a report.

The report is based on interviews with over 180 experts and on analysis of over 200 reports.

They estimate that by 2050, the amount of plastics produced globally will increase three times to 1,124 million tons. By then, the "plastic economy" will take up 15% of the world's global carbon budget, compared to just 1% today.

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