From single-use cutlery in to-go bags to the cup holding their daily iced coffee, most people are almost as surrounded by plastic as the shrink-wrapped goods they bring home from the store.
Every year, more than 24 billion pounds of plastic makes its way into the ocean, according to a report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). This mind-boggling amount is equivalent to an endless parade of dump trucks emptying a load of plastic waste into the waves every … single … minute.
By 2050, some estimates suggest plastic could outweigh all the fish in the world ocean.
In honor of America Recycles Day, Tennessee Aquarium vice president of conservation science and education, Dr. Anna George, explains the roots of the plastic problem, from a global perspective down to the microplastic fragments steadily working their way through marine food webs.
Along the way, she explains why recycling is only part of the solution and offers a few helpful tips to better understand and, hopefully, curtail plastic’s hold on daily living.