Is it True that by 2050, Plastic Will Outweigh Fish in the Ocean? Not if We Can Help it! | PATH

Will Plastic Outweigh Fish in the Ocean by 2050? Not If We Can Help It!

A chilling statistic from a World Economic Forum Study has been widely shared: it claims that by 2050, the ocean's plastic weight will exceed that of fish. The frightening claim has garnered the attention of people all over, especially those concerned about our plastic crisis that want to reverse this prediction. But is it true? Do we really need to be concerned that our plastic crisis has or will get this far?

The data behind the prediction of more plastic in the ocean than fish

The estimates predicting plastic will outweigh ocean fish by 2050 are daunting. Nevertheless, we have the power to change the future. At PATH, we believe every individual and collective action can make a difference.

The prediction stems from staggering numbers. Over the past six decades, manufacturers have produced an astonishing 9.1 billion tons of plastic, with 90.5% of this amount never being recycled. Also factored into this stat is coastal waste. Coastal cities worldwide are home to 6.4 billion people, which generated 2.7 billion tons of garbage in 2010, of which 109 million tons was plastic waste within potential reach of the ocean.

A specific complexity of this calculation is gathering the actual number and weight of fish in the ocean. Fisheries management, the field that keeps track of fish stocks, is a complicated endeavor; imagine taking count of something that is often hidden and always moving. While estimates about the quantity and weight of fish in the ocean are possible, it is challenging to gauge its accuracy, making this calculation even more challenging. 

Yet, despite these challenges, we should not view this prediction as an inevitable reality but as an opportunity to change our behaviors and reverse the trajectory.

Turning the Tide

In the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the majority of debris originates from commonplace items such as plastic bags, bottle caps, plastic water bottles, and Styrofoam cups. These everyday items, designed for single-use, have ended up contributing to a colossal environmental problem.

However, we can make a significant difference by targeting the production and consumption of single-use plastics. PATH is on a mission to promote refilling and eliminate single-use plastic bottled water. Our vision is to transform the linear 'take-make-dispose' model into a circular economy that emphasizes 'reduce, reuse, and recycle.'

Rewriting the future requires a simple shift. It needs us to challenge the status quo and move towards more sustainable practices. The mere knowledge of the impending crisis won't suffice; we need to translate this awareness into action. That's why we are glad that the statistic about plastic and fish in the ocean has gained global attention – it has stirred conversations and heightened concern about our single-use plastic crisis.

But concern alone won't stop the predicted tide of plastic. That's why we advocate for action to shift the balance in favor of marine life. And it begins with the simple act of choosing to refill rather than buy new single-use plastic bottled water.

The shift to PATH is as immediate as you make it, that's because every refill counts. Every time you opt to refill, you prevent a piece of single-use plastic from potentially entering our oceans. Together, we can stem the tide of plastic pollution, one refill at a time.

So, will plastic outweigh fish in the ocean by 2050? Not if we can help it! The power to change these predictions for our oceans lies in our hands. Knowing these stats serves as a stark reminder that our actions matter. The prediction that plastic will outweigh fish in the ocean by 2050 is not a fate accomplished but a path we can choose to deviate from. With every refill, we take a step towards a sustainable future – a future where our oceans teem with life, not plastic.


Back to blog