Single-use plastics are creating a new geological age.

11. May 2020 | Waste, Plastics | via Fluxhawaii.com

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Engineered to stick around for decades—and potentially thousands of years or more—plastic continues its journey long after we throw it away. (Credit: John Hook)

Humans have been fishing for tens of thousands of years, but only in the last 50 years or so has the practice left such a pervasive spectacle of marine debris on our shorelines, Lauren McNally explains in his article on Fluxhawaii.com. Once made from natural, biodegradable fibers—Native Hawaiians favored olonā bark and ‘ie‘ie vine—today’s nets, lines, and traps are made from synthetic materials to weather the elements like never before. As with so many other things in our lives, we devised a cheaper and more durable alternative to the organic stuff, and now wayward plastic is piling up in our oceans at an alarming pace. At this rate, if we’re to believe predictions from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, plastic will outweigh fish in the sea within the next 30 years. Meaning tiny plastic fishing nets will make perfect sense as decorative accents if you’re looking to conjure reveries about the ocean.

 

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