Plastics are killing our animals


Over 100 million marine animals are killed each year due to plastic debris in the ocean. Currently, it is estimated that there are 100 million tons of plastic in oceans around the world. It is expected that another 60 billion pounds will be produced this year alone. In some areas, the buildup of plastics is estimated to span 5 million square miles. To put it into perspective, that is the equivalent of the area of the U.S. plus India. How does that much plastic get there? Eighty percent of the plastic debris comes from land. It washes out to sea from our beaches, streets and highways. It flows out through storm drains into streams and rivers. It flies away from landfills and into the stomachs of sea turtles everywhere. Most of the debris is recognizable. Plastic bags, bottles, balloons, degraded buoys, packaging materials and food wrappers all contribute to the debris. While large plastics are a substantial pollutant, over time these plastics will break down into smaller, more toxic pieces. Not only are these small plastics more easily ingested, but they also act as hosts for invasive species, carrying them to other regions of the ocean exponentially increasing the damages caused by plastics. In addition, certain plastic contains toxic additives that are distributed into the water and enter into the food chain.2


Request

I would like to request that every diver, every snorkeler, every beach goer, pick up any trash found in, or around, the ocean and properly discard it. Your efforts just may save a specie's life


Did You Know? (Courtesy of seeTurtles)

This is the one area where I believe we can make a larger difference with a minor investment, both time and energy.  On your next visit to grocery store, rather than using a single use plastic bag, request paper instead. Better yet, purchase a high quality bag (as I have done) for multiple uses over a longer period of time thus eliminating the need for any single use bag. Besides, they are much larger and stronger than conventional single use plastic bags.



Data provided by: 

2 Sea Turtle Conservancy
Accessed October 2013
LINK

3 seeTURTLES
Accessed October 2013
LINK