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Humans have made 8.3 billion tons of plastic. Where does it all go?

Plastic materials are impossible to avoid. From water bottles and shampoo containers, snack wrappers and Tupperware, to polyester clothes and electronics, we use and eventually throw out most plastics.

“Around 60 percent of all the plastics we’ve ever made are on the planet somewhere.”
Landfills and the natural environment are the final destinations for more than three quarters of non-degradable plastic trash, according to a new global estimate. If current trends in plastic production and waste management continue, the plastic debris housed in landfills and natural environments — currently 4.9 billion metric tons — will more than double by 2050, scientists reported Wednesday in Science Advances.

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