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Plastic Is Killing Sea Turtles

Plastic Is Killing Sea Turtles

Around 8 million tons of plastic go into the oceans every year. For people enjoying beaches, a plastic bag or a disposable plastic cup might only look like garbage. It surely is, but people completely forget that it also doesn’t belong to the oceans.

It floats in the oceans, tempting many marine species to treat it as edible. One of such marine species is sea turtles. They believe the plastic bags to be their favorite food jellyfish because the plastic bags look like jellyfish, and ingest it. The simple confusion enlists sea turtles among endangered marine species.

How Is Plastic Killing Sea Turtles?

Turtles Ingest Plastic

According to research, if a sea turtle ingests 14 plastic items, its life probability decreases by 50%. Even though the stat is frightening, it doesn’t completely cover the horror. Many sea turtles may end up dying miserably before even reaching the 14 plastic item mark.

The ingested plastic may cause intestinal injuries leading to internal bleeding. Even if the plastic doesn’t injure the reptile, it may give them a feeling of being full that will ultimately starve them to death.

Turtles Get Entangled in Plastic

More than 1000 turtles die every year due to getting entangled in plastic. The plastic can be debris from the beaches or unusable fishing gear that’s thrown into the ocean. Such marine debris mainly attracts young sea turtles, and they usually lose their lives in the entanglement.

Besides killing the marine reptiles, the entanglement sadly causes an irrecoverable injury such as losing a limb.

The Survival of Eggs Gets Obsolete with Plastic Pollution

The female turtles come to the seashores to dig burrows for laying eggs. With increased plastic pollution on the seashores, these female sea turtles do not find a way to lay eggs and can go through a condition called dystocia.

The condition causes them to lose lives, and if not, they end up laying eggs in the water. The eggs laid in water don’t hatch, causing the already endangered species survival chances to go thinner.

To protect this endangered species, people worldwide need to take strict actions such as not using disposable plastic items on the beaches and using more recycled plastic otherwise.


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