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Human impact has created a ‘plastic planet

Planet Earth’s oceans and lands will be buried by increasing layers of plastic waste by the mid-century due to human activity, according to research led by the University of Leicester.

A new study, which has been published in the journal Anthropocene, examines the evidence that we now live in the Anthropocene, an epoch where humans dominate the Earth’s surface geology, and suggests that the surface of the planet is being noticeably altered by the production of long-lasting human-made materials, resulting in us entering an ‘Age of Plastic’.

Jan Zalasiewicz, Professor of Palaeobiology from the University of Leicester’s Department of Geology explained: “Plastics were more or less unknown to our grandparents, when they were children. But now, they are indispensible to our lives. They’re everywhere — wrapping our food, being containers for our water and milk, providing cartons for eggs and yoghourt and chocolate, keeping our medicines sterile. They now make up most of the clothes that we wear, too.

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