More plastic than fish in world's ocean by 2050 - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

More plastic than fish in world's oceans by 2050

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The World Economic Forum recently published a report that could have a big impact on our island state.

The forum predicts that there will be more plastic in the world's oceans than fish, if the current model of plastic production continues.

Hawaii environmentalists say the report's findings shouldn't come as a surprise.

"That single-use plastic fork you use at lunch, or single-use plastic water bottle will be here around in existence longer than you," said Kahi Pacarro, executive director of Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii.

The report notes just 14 percent of recyclable plastics wind up getting collected. Much of the rest ends up out in the environment -- and in the ocean.

The report says the amount of plastic being created and deposited in the ocean will only continue to grow.

Currently, over 330 tons of plastic are produced annually. By 2050, that figure will almost quadruple.

The report also says that if plastic production remains the same, it will consume 20 percent of the earth's oil production by 2050.

And The ratio of plastics to fish in the ocean -- by weight -- will go from 1-to-5 to 1-to-1.

That plastic will create a never-ending cycle of trash washing up on our shores.

"It’s mauka to makai. Everything that's littered here in town, or anywhere away from the ocean makes its way into our storm drains, our streams, and flushes right out into the oceans" Pacarro said.

What the report recommends, and Pacarro echoes, is a re-thinking of plastic production, creating a business and consumer culture of re-use.

“It's a circular economy," he said. "Not cradle to the grave, but cradle to cradle."

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