300 million tons of plastic are consumed annually by more than 700 marine species, resulting in the death of 100 million sea creatures. There are five species that are especially in danger of eating plastic.
1. Sea turtles
50% of all sea turtles ingest plastic debris. It obstructs their digestive system causing
2. Seals and sea lions
Seals and sea lions become entangeled in fishing nets, lures, fishing lines, plastic bags
and packing bands. This causes severe infections and death.
3. Sea birds
While all species of sea birds are affected, the albatross is in the most danger. 98% of
albatross ingest plastic materials. It causes digestive obstruction and can puncture their
Microscopic plastic debris enters the gills of fish as they breathe. Humans ingest this
plastic when they eat fish.
5. Whales and dolphins
Whales and dolphins can be entangled in plastic fishing equipment. They also can ingest
the plastic debris, which can puncture and tear their stomach lining.
As humans, we must stop buying and using single-use plastics. Whenever we can, we need to let manufacturers know we want them to find alternative materials for their products, such as biodegradable, recyclable or reusable materials. Taking our own reuseable shopping bags to stores is a major help. Taking our own to-go containers when we eat at restaurants is another way we can make a difference. Let's take a stand and live our own lives as sustainably as we can, and spread the word.