For some, it’s hard to grasp just how much of an impact something that can be so useful like a plastic bag or a plastic fork can also be so dangerous.
Our oceans are filled with plastic and we have ourselves to blame for this mess. Every other day, we hear stories with marine animals and creatures swallowing plastic materials mistaking it as food. The plastic waste eventually takes up its toll and kills the animal.
In another heartbreaking incident, a palm-sized turtle was found dead in Florida with an unbelievable 104 pieces of plastic clogging up its intestines.
Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, Inc. shared the image of the baby turtle alongside 104 pieces of plastic that were found inside it.
Emili Mirowski, a sea turtle rehabilitation assistant at The Gumbo Limbo Nature Center examined the baby turtle and told:
“It was weak and emaciated. I could just tell it wasn’t doing well. It was really heartbreaking. But it’s something we’ve seen for several years and we’re just glad people are finally seeing this image and hopefully it’s raising awareness.”
Explaining the main problem she said, “The issue is that with all the plastic in the oceans, that’s where the plastic sticks. All the microplastics stick to the seaweed, and it looks like food to the baby turtles.”
According to estimates, there are about 5 trillion pieces of plastic accumulated in our oceans, all thanks to our own thoughtless dumping. All of these break down into tiny microscopic particles called microplastics. These get into the digestive systems of fish and water mammals, and consequently us as well. And at just about 5 millimetres at their largest, they’re pretty much impossible to see with the naked eye.
We can help improve their chances of survival by properly disposing of plastic, reducing how much single-use plastic we use, and picking up trash and putting it in the appropriate receptacle.
If you are tired of seeing marine life suffer because humans recklessly dispose of plastic and garbage, share this on social media. Maybe when people are presented with a heartbreaking photo, they will change their attitudes.
We can do better. We must do better.