Zovargo Eco-News: The Impact of Plastic Waste on Sea Turtles

This article was written for everyone's enjoyment. We aim to educate all generations about animal conservation and environmental protection any chance we get, so please share this with others.  We suggest while you're waiting in line for something, during dinner, or before bed! 

On November 8, 2016, Proposition 67, a referendum asking voters to either vote yes to preserve the law or no to reject the plastic bag ban, was approved by 52% of the voters. (Source: LA TImes)

On November 8, 2016, Proposition 67, a referendum asking voters to either vote yes to preserve the law or no to reject the plastic bag ban, was approved by 52% of the voters. (Source: LA TImes)

Plastic bags are a huge problem, not just for the environment but for the sea turtle population as well. Sea Turtles love to snack on jellyfish, which are also appear white, semi-translucent, and amorphous (lacking form). It’s astonishing how similar a plastic bag and a jellyfish look in water, even to the human eye. The picture below shows a jar of jellyfish and a jar with a plastic bag, can you tell the difference? Like all animals, sea turtles weren’t made to eat plastic so a bag can get trapped in the digestive systems, causing death. A plastic 6-pack ring can also cause life-long deformities if they get caught in them; cutting your 6 pack rings before you throw them away can help prevent entanglement.

A Plastic Bag in a Jar (left) and 3 Jellyfish in a Jar (right).  Can You Tell the Difference?(Source: One Green Planet)

A Plastic Bag in a Jar (left) and 3 Jellyfish in a Jar (right).  Can You Tell the Difference?(Source: One Green Planet)

According to National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, there is an estimated 100 million tons of plastic in the ocean worldwide currently killing 100,000 marine mammals, sea turtles, birds, and fish annually (Source: www.ConserveTurtles.org). Hopefully, the ban on single-use plastic bags will reduce the amount of plastic bags that eventually end up in the ocean.

The video below shows a team of snorkelers rescuing a sea turtle, which has a straw stuck in its nostril. The team thinks it’s some sort of worm at first but to their dismay, they were wrong. The video is graphic as the turtle begins to bleed but it is an example of plastic’s effect on our environment. You might not want to show it to your child.

Half of the sea turtles in the world have eaten plastic, according to a new study by Qamar Schuyler of the University of Queensland. His research led him to conclude that approximately 52% of the world’s sea turtles have eaten some sort of plastic debris in their lifetime. (Source: Washington Post)

The problem with plastic is that it doesn’t break down or decompose naturally. Plastic’s inability to break down means it will stay in nature for hundreds of years, creating harmful problems for unsuspecting animals. The best thing you can do is decrease your plastic consumption or plastic footprint, omitting unfortunate opportunities for your trash to hurt an animal.

A Sea Turtle Trapped in Several Plastic Bags (Source: Daily Mail)

A Sea Turtle Trapped in Several Plastic Bags (Source: Daily Mail)

There is a clear and distinctive problem at hand and solving the problem begins with us. Doing your part has a tremendous impact on the world. We at Zovargo will do our part by creating Zovargo reusable totes and other products that will help you reduce your plastic footprint.  Not only will you help save the environment but you will save money at the same time!

Some other ways you can reduce the amount of plastic waste produced is by using reusable products such as reusable bottles, cups, reusable cutlery, metal straws, and of course, reusable bags. Every little bit counts and saving the environment starts with you. Don’t forget that this is your planet, your ocean, and your forests; you are the future for a sustainable earth.

Can you think of any other ways we can decrease our plastic footprint? Let us know in the comment section!

An Inforgraphic About Plastic Bags and the Environment (Source: Reusethisbag.com)

An Inforgraphic About Plastic Bags and the Environment (Source: Reusethisbag.com)