Human have produced 8.3 billion tons of plastic. By 2050, there will be about 12 billion tons of plastic waste in the world.
According to a study in the Journal Progress in Science, since the early 1950s, 8.3 billion tons of plastics have been produced by humans, most of which have become waste, which can not be ignored because they are placed in landfills or scattered in the natural environment.
The team, led by researchers from the University of Georgia, the University of California, Santa Barbara and the Marine Education Association, first analyzed the production, use and ultimate fate of all plastic products worldwide. The researchers collected statistical data on the production of various industrial resins, fibers and additives, and integrated the data according to the type and use of products.
Data show that global plastic production was 2 million tons in 1950 and increased to 400 million tons in 2015, which exceeded any man-made material except cement and steel.
Only 9% of the waste plastic products are recycled, another 12% are incinerated, and the remaining 79% are buried deep in landfills or accumulated in the natural environment. The pace of plastic production shows no signs of slowing down. According to current trends, there will be about 12 billion tons of plastic waste in the world by 2050.