Landscape Architect & Specifier News

FEB 2016

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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Page 85 of 141

86 Landscape Architect and Specifier News Prediction: By 2050, More Plastics than Fish (by weight) in Oceans "The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the Future of Plastics" report says that every year "at least 8 million tons of plastics end up in the oceans, the equivalent of dumping the contents of one garbage truck into the ocean every minute. If no action is taken, this is expected to increase to two per minute by 2030 and four per minute by 2050." The arrowed circles are "gyres," ocean currents that spiral (clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere) around a central point. According to Coastal Care , the North Pacific gyre, called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, stretches for hundreds of miles across the ocean, 1,000 miles from the California coastline.. ILLUSTRATION: NOAA A new report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation ("The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the Future of Plastics" http://tinyurl. com/h4rxxgl ) acknowledges that while plastics are integral to the global economy and deliver many benefits, most plastic packaging is used only once; 95% of the value of plastic packaging material, worth $80-120 billion annually, is lost to the economy. Given projected growth in consumption the report predicts that the "ocean is expected to contain one ton of plastic for every three ton of fish by 2025, and by 2050, more plastics than fish [by weight]." The report also projects that by 2050 the plastics industry will consume 20% of total oil production, and 15% of the annual carbon budget. The report was produced by the World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation www.ellenmacarthurfoundation. org , with analytical support from McKinsey & Company, as part of Project MainStream . Financial support came from the MAVA Foundation. The report outlines effective after-use pathways for plastics to drastically reduce plastics in natural systems, particularly the oceans. Achieving such systemic change, says the report, will require major collaboration across the global plastics chain – consumer goods companies, plastic packaging producers and plastics manufacturers, businesses involved in collection, sorting and reprocessing, cities, policymakers and NGOs. The report proposes the creation of an independent coordinating vehicle to set direction, establish common standards and systems, overcome fragmentation, and foster innovation opportunities at scale. The report says that plastics production has increased 20-fold since 1964, reaching 311million tons in 2014, and despite the huge growth in plastic packing, "just 5% of plastics are recycled effectively, while 40% end up in landfill and a third in fragile ecosystems such as the world's oceans." I n f o r m a t i o n R e q u e s t # 5 8 9

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