Human-made objects to outweigh living things

Scientists say the weight of human-made objects will likely exceed that of living things by the end of the year.

In other words, the combined weight of all the plastic, bricks, concrete and other things we’ve made will outweigh all animals and plants on the planet for the first time. The estimated weight of human-made objects is about one teratonne.

For every person, more than their body weight in stuff is now being produced each week. These astonishing figures have been calculated by a team at the Weizmann Institute of Sciences in Israel, to show how our species is transforming the Earth.

Dr. Ron Milo, who led the research, said, “The significance is symbolic in the sense that it tells us something about the major role that humanity now plays in shaping the world and the state of the Earth around us.”

From plastic bottles to the bricks and concrete we use for buildings, the weight of all the things we produce has been doubling every 20 years recently.


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