There Will Be More Plastic Than Fish in the Ocean by 2050 (If We Don’t Change)

Written by on January 25, 2016 in Eco-Friendly, Environment, Wildlife with 46 Comments
There will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050, according to a new report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Photo credit: Plastic Pollution

There will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050, according to a new report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Photo credit: Plastic Pollution

By Cole Mellino | Eco Watch

There will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050, warned the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in a report published Tuesday. The report, The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the Future of Plastics, was produced by the foundation and the World Economic Forum with analytical support from McKinsey & Company.

Related Article: 25% of Fish Sold at Markets Contain Plastic or Man-Made Debris

Every year “at least 8 million tons of plastics leak into the ocean—which is equivalent to dumping the contents of one garbage truck into the ocean every minute,” the report finds. “If no action is taken, this is expected to increase to two per minute by 2030 and four per minute by 2050.

“In a business-as-usual scenario, the ocean is expected to contain one ton of plastic for every three tons of fish by 2025, and by 2050, more plastics than fish (by weight).”

Related Article: Engineers Have Created Amazing Micromotors That Remove CO2 Pollution from Oceans

Plastic production has increased 20-fold since 1964, reaching 311 million tons in 2014, the report says. It is expected to double again in the next 20 years and almost quadruple by 2050. New plastics will consume 20 percent of all oil production within 35 years, up from an estimated 5 percent today.

The vast majority of plastics is not effectively recycled, either, according to the report. Only 5 percent is properly recycled, while 40 percent is sent to a landfill and a third ends up in the environment, including in the world’s oceans. Much of the rest is burned, which generates energy, The Guardian noted, but also causes “more fossil fuels to be consumed in order to make new plastic bags, cups, tubs and consumer devices demanded by the economy.”

Related Article: Fish Eat Plastic from Polluted Oceans, Travels up Food Chain & Harms Humans

The report provides a first-ever “vision of a global economy in which plastics never become waste, and outlines concrete steps towards achieving the systemic shift needed,” the Ellen MacArthur Foundation said.


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  1.' Juan Delgado says:

    Es difícil que dejen de producir platico con una sociedad tan nesecitada y acostumbrada a todo lo cotidiano ¿por que pensarían que las industrian cerrarían? ¿Acaso es solo plástico el único problema en el planeta? Les presento el sobrecalentamiento GOBAL! Suerte 😉

  2.' Teresa Dio says:


  3.' Andrew Wakeman says:

    Scrap up the plastic using nets on the surface

  4.' Reema El Haddad says:

    Anas Rousan

  5.' Vanja Helena Fahrenheim says:


  6.' Λίτσα Γώγου says:

    Recycle..use all kind of technology we friendly packaging…less packaging…the ways are many…but the first step is the understanding and the determination…of all 6-7billion Earth population…Easy???

  7.' Cheryl Probert says:

    Not if the almighty Yahuah has anything to do with it!!!!

  8.' Ronald Galena says:

    Need to go back to paper bags and glass bottles for starters!

  9.' Walter Okande says:

    I abhor this site

  10.' Tina Burnett says:

    Oregon has the $.05 bottle refund!

    •' Nate Hoff says:

      Yep does alot of good when china ship sort and dump less valuable materials over board as the process those recycled materials. Buy American and demand American products.

  11.' Rebekah Philippou says:

    That’s horrible !!!!!

  12.' Corinne Omeasoo says:

    Just my opinion but I think the ocean has been a place for big businesses to dump their wastes for a long time and now we must look at who is making the plastics to stop them from putting it in the water system. I also know doing just that may not make a significant change as there are beginning to be too many plastics in the economy.

  13.' SB Stolley says:

    Lets see….it is 2016…have we changed yet??

  14.' Gavin Wright says:

    Ah but how many plastic fish are they? that’s a legitimate question.

  15.' Sukha Bhucho Sukhdev says:

    How discusting when all we kno plastic is to be recycled then this is what ???for ,,,, ??????

  16.' Charles Kent says:

    Who THE FUCK is dumping plastic into the ocean? Rub them out, PDQ

  17.' Thomas Wilson says:


  18.' Nate Hoff says:

    Buy American should be the eviromentialists calling card. American companies are regulated unlike japan and china who dump everything not worth value as they haul American recycled materials back to home land. The process materials such as metal, paper, and plastic on those large ships dumping waste over board. When the reach mother land materials are ready for production.

  19.' Andrew Gray says:

    I don’t know why some profit drivin company doesn’t capitalise on this and see it as a free resource?

  20.' Rachida Meziane says:


  21.' Melinda Hanak says:

    Can’t believe the people who contribute to this don’t see a problem!!

  22.' Linda Hand says:

    Not. Good

  23.' Darin Ulrich says:

    Think about this every time you buy a new water bottle.

  24.' Robert Osborn says:

    One thing you need to do is help the citizens of Tacoma who are fighting the local government who are trying to build the world’s largest methanol refinery. This methanol will be to sent to China so it can be made into plastic, most of which will most likely end up in our oceans. Please check the No Water for Methanol Facebook page for more information. Please help us if you care about the earth. Thank you.

  25.' Keelyn Ross says:

    ?solutions required ✨

  26.' Sheena Goodswimmer says:


  27.' C Em Man says:

    On that year (2050) human has already left earth or any technology advance system to counter that problem…

  28.' Sarina Ortin says:

    OMG!!! WTF !!!

  29.' Ennis Theprinceiscoming Peete says:

    Just stop dumping the shit in water period

  30.' Richard Brouillard says:

    why not collect and re process? free plastic!

  31.' Lucille Eleanor D. Rama says:

    so sad We need to recycle…

  32.' Christie Gil says:

    It isn’t going to stop. Nothing is going to be done. It has to be this way. It all has to come to a head until the babies won’t survive anymore.. love will die and marriage cease as nations wane and babes decrease.

    Then man applies himself,
    Too late! Too late!
    For mankind has earned deserved fate.

  33.' Geo Cata says:

    Plastic floating in the top of water …we should clean

  34.' Hily Pacot Carrel says:

    I just read, there is invention in the philippines, by pilipino engineer, they manufactured the plastic into gas fuel for cars, and it was succesful, they start using it in cars!!! Check it out.

  35.' Maxi Mueller says:

    That looks like the standard river in Indonesia.

  36.' Meryll Brownlee says:


  37.' Hily Pacot Carrel says:

    I posted the pilipino invention, plastic turn into liquid, gas, kerosene, lnventor, Jayme Navarro!!

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