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marine litter

A Sea of Plastic: 65 Years in the Making

CBS News takes a look at how plastic waste makes its way into our food, sea salt and drinking water.

We’ve been making plastic for 65 years, but we still haven’t figured out what to do with it once we’re done using it. And since plastic is not biodegradable, about 70 percent of our discarded plastic ends up in open dumps or landfills—or even worse, in our oceans.

CBS News got in touch with Roland Geyer, a professor of environmental science at UC Santa Barbara, and he noted that plastic in the ocean tends to break down into tiny pieces that then make their way down the food chain. That means there’s plastic in our food, sea salt and drinking water, Geyer stressed.

And, according to the World Economic Forum, by 2050, our oceans will contain more plastic than fish.

CBS News has more:

In the 1950s, a new material burst onto the scene that would change the world forever. Cheap, durable, sanitary, strong, and light.

And today, there are literally thousands of raw categories of plastic, according to Fred Betke, founder of Delta Pacific Products, which makes plastic parts for medical instruments.

The technical name is polypropylene, and all almost everything plastic starts out as pellets. They're available in every color under the sun. 

Read the full article here.

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