WASHINGTON (AP) - A cradle-to-grave study of global plastics finds industry has made more than 9 billion tons of plastic since 1950.
The research shows there's enough left over to bury Manhattan under more than two miles of trash.
Plastics don't break down like other man-made materials, so three-quarters of the stuff ends up as waste in landfills, littered on land and floating in oceans, lakes and rivers. The study calculates that only 9 percent of plastic waste ends up recycled.
Study lead author Roland Geyer at the University of California, Santa Barbara, says the world is fast becoming a plastic planet. The study was published Wednesday by the journal Science Advances.