In 1966 prescient American pop artist Andy Warhol organised a series of multimedia events entitled the exploding plastic inevitable.
Now, according to the first global study of mass-produced plastics by US academics the inevitable has come to pass.
Since the 1950’s humankind has produced 8.3 bn tonnes of the stuff leading to a “near permanent contamination of the natural environment.”
The study found the amount of plastic produced is the equivalent in weight to 25, 000 Empire State buildings and will remain intact for hundreds, maybe thousands of years with production expected to rocket over the coming decades.
Despite the amount of science involved in trying to breakdown the wonderstuff the research found that by 2015 of the nearly seven bn tonnes of plastic waste generated 9 percent was recycled, 12 percent incinerated and 79 percent clogging landfills or oceans.