This is really a simple point and I am not going to appeal to a bunch of sources on how much plastic we dump in the ocean or that all the plastic could reach to the moon and back because I really think that this is all underlain by an even more fundamental fact about plastic itself, That it was never meant to be a quickly usable and disposable substance. Plastic was initially invented as an alternative to numerous materials traditionally harvested from hunting animals like ivory and tortoiseshell and was considered to be a great help to the environment since it removed the need to kill these animals to get a usable material. This was very much the case until the mass production of cheap plastic containers and replacement of common components of commercial items with plastic became widespread in the aftermath of WW2, When plastic production in the US boomed 300% from wartime usefulness. Commonly composed of carbon based polymers, Plastics have very few natural ways of breaking down on a chemical level, Since very few if any microorganisms can actually process it for any reason, And the most common is for the bonds between the molecules that compose the polymer to be broken by thermal energy from the sun, Causing the object to break down into innumerable tiny pieces over time. The problem with this is that it does not constitute an actual chemical desiccation of the molecules, But a segmentation of them into pieces that can easily be consumed by sea creatures to their eternal detriment. Plastic, Being made of carbon, Is naturally a long-lasting substance that we have been using for short term purposes. Recycling is useful, But will not be effective until we can stymie the sheer quantity of products that inappropriately use plastic for a short term purpose which will eventually necessitate the expenditure of an inordinate amount of time and energy to process in a way that will not necessarily harm the earth itself.
Https://www. Sciencehistory. Org/the-history-and-future-of-plastics
https://science. Howstuffworks. Com/science-vs-myth/everyday-myths/how-long-does-it-take-for-plastics-to-biodegrade. Htm