Nautilus

Plastic Is the Ocean’s New Junk Food

Plastic is so pervasive that I sometimes forget it’s all around me—in toothpaste, in makeup, in clothes. But plastic is also omnipresent in places untouched by people, and one sobering forecast shook me: By 2050, it’s likely that plastic in the oceans will outweigh all the oceans’ fish. Some reports predict 850-950 million tons of plastic (the equivalent in weight of 4.5 million blue whales). Given all the plastic we’ve put into the oceans over decades—the present rate is 4 to 12 million tons of plastic per year—you might think some species

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