Plastics to outweigh fish in oceans by 2050: WEF

By Chia Lee

World Economic Forum (WEF) warned Wednesday that there will be more plastic than fish in terms of weight in the world’s oceans by 2050.

World leaders from across business, government, civil society, science, the arts and other communities gathered on Wednesday in Davos, a Swiss Alpine resort in Switzerland where the WEF’s annual conference was held.

According to the WEF report, 95 percent of the value of plastic packaging material, worth US$80 billion-US$120 billion annually, is lost to the economy. In addition, at least eight million tons of plastics leak into the ocean every year. Estimates show that there are currently over 150 million tons of plastics in the ocean today. “In a business-as-usual scenario, the oceans is expected to contain 1 ton of plastic for every three tons of fish by 2025, and by 2050, more plastics than fish (by weight),” the report said.

The report then called on collective efforts to create a “New Plastic Economy,” in which it aims to “create long-term systemic value by fostering a working after-use economy, drastically reducing leakage and decoupling plastics from fossil feedstocks.”

The only way to improve the situation is to radically increase the economic, quality and uptake of recycling, the WEF said. Giving people incentives to collect plastic garbage and recycle, as well as increasing the price of plastic bags are among some of the strategies to cut down on plastic garbage, according to the report.


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