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Good job, humans: The world is basically a pile of plastic garbage now

Since the 1950s, humans have produced 18.2 trillion pounds of plastics, and most of it is sitting in trash piles that never degrade. That’s according to a really freaking depressing new study published in the journal Science Advances, which reveals that all those straws, fidget spinners, sandwich bags, water bottles, and whatever else, produce a mind-numbing amount of garbage. While 9% of plastic has been recycled, and 12% incinerated, nearly 80% of the plastic we produce just sits in landfills, where they will probably remain until the apocalypse (when only the water bears will be left). We’re not exactly learning our lesson, either—by 2050, scientists expect another 26.5 trillion pounds of plastic trash will be produced worldwide.

As USA Today points out, that’s about as much as 1 billion elephants weigh, not that there are a billion elephants left on the planet, either. But who needs majestic animals when you can have the real-life version of Marjory the Trash Pile from Fraggle Rock?  [via USA Today]

[Photo: kanvag/iStock]ML