Scientists from the University of Georgia took part in a study to calculate the total amount of plastics ever produced.
According to a report by James Hataway on the UGA website, the researchers found humans had created 8.3 billion metric tons of plastics since large-scale production of the synthetic materials began in the early 1950s and that now most of it resides in landfills or the natural environment.
The study was published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances.
Other researchers involved in the study were from the University of California, Santa Barbara and Sea Education Association.
The report says that if current trends continue, roughly 12 billion metric tons of plastic waste will be in landfills or the natural environment by 2050. Twelve billion metric tons is about 35,000 times as heavy as the Empire State Building.
“Most plastics don’t biodegrade in any meaningful sense so the plastic waste human have generated could be with us for hundreds or even thousands of years. Our estimates underscore the need to think critically about the materials we use and our waste management practices,” said Jenna Jambeck , co-author of the study and associate professor of engineering at UGA.
For more study results visit http://news.uga.edu/releases/article/scientists-calculate-total-amount-of-plastics-ever-produced/.