« Plastic Smog » In The Oceans Will Kill All Life On Earth, Scientists Warn

"Plastic Smog" In The Oceans Will Kill All Life On Earth, Scientists Warn

Plastic Smog: Scientists are calling the scourge « plastic smog, » which experts estimate could weigh as much as 2.4 million metric tons and double in mass about every six years.

Experts rely on 12,000 samples collected over 40 years of research in all major ocean basins worldwide. Beginning in 2004, researchers have observed a significant increase in the material, coinciding with an explosion in the plastics industry worldwide.

Material that does not end up in landfills can end up in rivers or directly into the oceans. It gradually breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces, understood as microplastics, which are less than 5mm long and can be eaten by river and sea dwellers.

Recently, microplastics have been found in the snow near the summit of Mount Everest and inside the most serious point on Earth, the Mariana Trench, as well as in the human bloodstream. This suggests that plastic, as a dangerous chemical material, is already threatening life on Earth today.

Scientists have urged humanity to reduce the production of plastics, warning that « cleanup is useless » if industrialized countries continue to pump hazardous materials into the environment at the current rate.

« We must now collaborate on a global scale, stop focusing on cleanup and recycling, and enter an era of corporate responsibility for the crimes committed against nature, » Dr. Marques Erikson, lead scientist and co-founder of the 5 Gyres Institute, told The Guardian.

Environmentalists are hopeful that the deadly plastics stance could galvanize the completion of UN-based negotiations on a convention to reduce global pollution from artificial materials that began last year. Such a document will be ready for signing in early 2024.