More than 8 BILLION tonnes of plastic produced since 1950s and most of it is landfill or litter

More than 8 BILLION tonnes of plastic produced since 1950s and most of it is landfill or litter

Researchers found that by 2015 humans had generated 8.3 billion tonnes of the material, 6.3 billion tonnes of which had already become waste

A front-loader bulldozer moves yellow plastic bags containing waste across a landfill site (Image: Bloomberg)

They found that by 2015 humans had generated 8.3 billion tonnes of the material, 6.3 billion tonnes of which had already become waste.

Of all the waste plastic, only 9% had been recycled and 12% incinerated, while 79% had accumulated in landfills or the natural environment.

Municipal workers collect glass and plastic at a waste landfill (Image: AFP)

A staggering amount of waste has been produced (Image: Anadolu)

If current trends continue, roughly 12 billion tonnes of plastic waste will be discarded in landfills or polluting the Earth's surface by 2050, said the team, writing in the journal Science Advances.

FULL ARTICLE BY Rhian Lubin ON THE MIRROR