A new report by the UK Government Office for Science, titled ‘Foresight Future of the Sea’, paints a grim picture of the near future of the world’s oceans. At this point, we are talking about decades rather than centuries, and the outlook is not good at all. According to the report, levels of plastic pollution in the ocean could as much as triple by 2025, in only 7 years from now.
Plastic litter remains one of the biggest problems facing the world's seas, and it seems this issue is here to stay. The melting of polar ice in the Arctic and the Antarctic and rising sea levels, climate change of course, and chemical pollution are also cause for concern.
According to the researchers, the biggest problem is that this kind of pollution is out of sight: no one sees the Great Pacific garbage patch, which covers an area roughly three times as large as France in the Pacific Ocean, and so no big effort is made to reduce its size. A recently released study showed that the amount of garbage is growing exponentially.
According to the nonprofit Ocean Cleanup Foundation, the situation is dire: projections suggest that the amount of plastic in the sea will treble (!) over the next 10 years, and by 2050 there will be more plastic in the sea than fish by mass. In numbers, we are probably way ahead of them.