The world is throwing the equivalent of a rubbish truck of plastic waste into the oceans every minute - and the rate of pollution is only likely to increase.
Oceans will contain more plastic than fish by 2050 unless the world takes radical action to stop rubbish leaking into the seas, a major new report has warned.
At least 8 million tonnes of plastic already ends up in the ocean every year - the equivalent of a rubbish truck of waste every minute, according to the report from the World Economic Forum.
The rate of plastic pollution is only expected to increase as more and more plastic is used globally, especially in emerging economies with weaker waste and recycling regimes.
By 2030, plastic is expected to be leaking into the ocean at a rate of two trucks per minute, and by 2050 that could hit four per minute.
As a result, plastic will outweigh fish in the oceans by 2050, the report warns.
Currently, the amount of plastic in the oceans is estimated at about 150 million tons - about a fifth of the weight of the fish.
"Without significant action, there may be more plastic than fish in the ocean, by weight, by 2050.
"Even by 2025, the ratio of plastic to fish in the ocean is expected to be one to three, as plastic stocks in the ocean are forecast to grow to 250 million tonnes in 2025," the report says.
It says the estimates are conservative because they assume fish stocks remain stable over the period.
Studies suggest the increasing volume of plastic - which can take hundreds of years to degrade - harms the health of fish and marine ecosystems.
The World Economic Forum study, which was produced by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, estimates that plastics are causing billions of dollars of damage to marine ecosystems a year.
It calls for a radical increase in recycling and the use of re-usable packaging, and says tackling the problem will require the joint efforts of consumer goods companies, plastic packaging producers, authorities that manage waste and policymakers.
Source: Emily Gosden / TIME