(CNN)If the world embarked on an immediate and globally-coordinated effort to reduce our plastic consumption, there would still be an estimated 710 million metric tons of plastic that will pollute the environment by 2040, new research has found. The study, from a group of international researchers and published in the journal Science on Thursday, found that even in a “best-case scenario” where the amount of plastic pollution was reduced by 80% by 2040, there would still be a massive build-up of accumulated plastic. “The biggest takeaway from our work is that if we don’t do anything, the plastic pollution problem is going to become unmanageable. Doing nothing is not an option, said Dr. Winnie Lau, co-author of the study and senior manager for Pew’s Preventing Ocean Plastics campaign. Lau called their findings a “bad news, good news situation” because while the plastic pollution problem is set to get worse, we have all the knowledge, technology and tools to make a huge dent. The team found that seriously ramped up global efforts could cut plastic pollution by 40% from 2016 levels, or 78% relative to a “business as usual” model by 2040. How rivers became the plastic highway into the oceans… Read full this story
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