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The following excerpt is from Michiel Abbing’s book Plastic Soup: An Atlas of Ocean Pollution (Island Press, April 2019) and is reprinted with permission from the publisher.
Determining how much plastic ends up in the oceans each year is complex. Scientists often quote a 2010 estimate that the 192 countries in the world with coastlines were together responsible for about eight million tons. That is about as much as a truckload of waste being tipped into the ocean every minute of the year.
Unless there are improvements, this will be two truckloads per minute by 2030. By 2050, it will be four truckloads a minute, and by weight, the seas will contain more plastic than fish.