Thousands of them get injured or die every year when they get trapped or ingest plastic waste thrown into the ocean
Thirteen million tons of plastic end up each year in the water and on the shores of oceans and seas of our planet. Indeed, a threat that affects most species of sea turtles.
Half of the sea turtles in the world have eaten plastic waste during their lives, and at least a thousands die each year because of pollution caused by plastics or by getting trapped in these wastes.
Las #tortugas 🐢 marinas están muriendo por comer bolsas plásticas, que lucen como uno de sus alimentos preferidos: las medusas.
¡Únete a la lucha por un planeta #SinContaminación y ayuda a salvarlas!
— LΛ ΞC🌎PΞDIΛ (@LaEcopedia) June 5, 2018
Plastic traps in the middle of the sea
The kind of waste that most affects sea turtles are fishing equipment, like for example nets or nylon and plastic ropes.
The animals get stuck in these threads and must drag weights far bigger than their own body. For some this is just to heavy for them to get back out to the surface and end up drowning.
Another kind of waste Sea turtles are severely affected by are Plastic containers, like can rings, plastic cups or straws,
Turtles get trapped in these recipients, sometimes for life, causing their body to grow with malformations or amputated parts. These are products that we only use for a few minutes, but remain in the sea for decades.
Plastic bags also a serious threat to turtles, as they confuse them for one of their favorite foods: jellyfish.
The animals swallow the bags, which get stuck in their intestines and gives them the feeling of being always full. As a result, the turtles stop eating and starve to death.
At least 80% of plastic waste in the ocean comes from land and many species consume this waste, including turtles, marine mammals, and birds. Learn more here: https://t.co/sp7OpM4GgR pic.twitter.com/zF54KaVZI1
— Divers For Turtles (@Divers4Turtles) May 30, 2018
A risk to the survival of the species
In the oceans and seas of our planet there are seven species of marine turtles, six of which are classified as vulnerable, at risk or in serious danger of extinction.
The survival of these species is threatened by human activities like poaching of animals and their eggs, destruction of their habitat and rising water temperatures, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
Survival of these species is hanging by a thread, and the death caused by the plastic waste could mean the extinction of entire communities.
— Luis Carrion (@Noticiero26) May 26, 2016
The solution: clean oceans
The only solution to recover the populations of sea turtles and ensure their survival is to remove the plastic from the oceans, although for now the first step is to reduce the amount of waste in the water.
Reuse and recycling are the best answer for plastic products not to end up in seas, but the most effective would be to just stop using this material.
Esta es la maravillosa aportación de @jota_han para nuestra campaña #artistsagainstplastics Ni tiburones, ni medusas, ni carabelas portuguesas, ni ninguna otra criatura marina. El verdadero monstruo marino es el plástico. Gracias @jota_han por tu aportación e interés en nuestra propuesta 💙💪🏼🔝 #artistsagainstplastics #art #illustration #artactivism #byebyestraws #stopsucking #refuseplasticstraws #saynotoplasticstraws #skipthestraw #ocean #savetheocean #plasticocean #plasticchange #plasticwaste #cleanseas #refusesingleuse #plasticfreeoceans #protectwhatyoulove #nobluenogreen #saveourseas #moreturtleslessplastic #seamonster #seaturtle #sealife #plasticstraws #tiburonesvivos
To achieve this, one option is to look for alternative materials that are biodegradable and to make consumers aware that most of the time we don’t even need the plastic recipients we use.