Production of plastic has dramatically increased in the last 65 years from 2.3 million tons in 1950 to 448 million tons in 2015, and production is expected to double by 2050. There are different methods of disposal for plastics, but as a result of mismanagement and littering, around 8 million tons of discarded plastic end up in oceans every year. Once plastic enters the ocean, it is very difficult to remove because plastic products gradually break apart to become microplastics, which are virtually impossible to filter out of water. Millions of animals are killed by plastics every year, and almost 700 species have been affected. In addition to harming wildlife, human health can be affected because we eat fish, shellfish and other marine species. Toxic plastic contaminants end up in the fish’s flesh, so humans can consume them too.
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