Plastic is a massive problem for marine animals
Thousands of turtles die each year in plastic. They either eat plastic bags thinking of them as food or smaller pieces of plastic still get into the water and into turtles’ digestion. The turtles are not the only marine life that are hurt in that way.
Seabirds and other mammals also suffer from plastic. They mistake plastic waste for food or become tangled in bags, boxes or other garbage that are floating around. Birds bring food to their offspring and they get poisoned by the same plastic and microfibers. That’s how the species can even become extinct.
Fish also die because of this kind of waste. Especially of microfibers that are easily accessible and extremely harmful to the body, and in a larger scale that plastic comes back to our plates. A single dose is not hazardous but adding piece by piece into our systems will move this kind of problem from sea to land.
There is fishing equipment named ghost gear. They are lost in oceans and seas. Nets and other manmade gear are constantly entangling and killing marine life like seals, dolphins, whales. The volume of ghost gear increases every single day. Day by day it provides that hazardous plastic because fishing materials brake down to micro-plastics and plastic pollution continues its cycles by polluting waters and being poisonous to animals who live there.
The problem really does not just kill and poison, but also changes the wildlife. Chemicals that are in plastic are causing estrogen levels to rise in animals. That leads to disturbing mutations. As an example, female fishes with male fish sex organs. Sometimes plastic just stays in their digestion system and not cause death but suffering, animal becomes weaker and poisoned.
People are searching for solutions, but it is happening very slowly. In the next post you will be able to read what have government around the world done to help to solve this issue and how people try to do that. Most of countries add some restrictions and laws about dumping wastes into water. There are smarter ones who fund recycling programs and that is more effective than restricting. Businesses are trying to be more environmentally friendly and reduce their plastic packaging and using non-recyclable items in general.
You as a consumer can help more sea turtles and marine wildlife to survive by making conscious decisions. Stop buying products that include harmful microfiber, like hygiene products and cosmetics that has plastic microbeads, they are not healthy for you either. Buy water in glass bottles and reuse it. If you are having a meal on the beach, please take care of the trash and do not leave it on shore. Waves can come and bring them to sea. Encourage others to do the same by showing a good example by recycling and not littering, and being a conscious buyer.