Top 5 Marine species getting affected by our plastic rubbish

Our dependence on the single-use plastic products is interminable. From plastic cutlery to plastic straws there are endless products of plastic we use on a daily basis. These are something that is part of our throwaway culture i.e. we use it once and throw them away. Statistics show that our consumption of single-use plastic is over 300 million tons every year. This means that the wastage we produce and the impact it has is unbearable for the planet.

Coastal areas will show you the real scenario. Just take a walk at your nearest beach every morning and you will find plastic bottles, cans, lids, straws, and unlimited trash all around. Even the plastic debris that entangled or killed animals is still there even after their death. Also, the majority of plastic pollution is occurring on a microscopic level so it isn’t even visible to our eyes.

Single-use plastic products are not only unsustainable for the planet but quite dangerous as well. The plastic pollution is now beginning to affect a variety of marine species on the planet and slowly reaching to the top of the food chain.

Listed below we have highlighted top 5 marine species getting affected by our plastic waste.

1.Sea Turtles

Marine animals fall prey to single-use plastic products mistaking it for food. Sea turtles are a prime example of it. The turtles consume it for food and then suffer from severe issues including blockages in the digestive system. Separate studies on Sea Turtles

  • In 2013 studies suggested that nearly half of the sea turtles are consuming plastic waste at the rate of knots which is the major cause of their sudden deaths.
  • Also, a study on the Loggerhead species claimed that 15% of the examined young turtles had their digestive system congested/blocked due to high volumes of plastic.

There was an incident a few years back when a sea turtle was found with a plastic straw stuck inside the nostrils. The turtle bled for as long as I can remember when the rescuers were trying to take that straw out. It was horrifying and painful to see the poor turtle cry and bleed when the plastic straw was taken out that we so carelessly throw away. That video really shook the world.

2. Seals

There have been many reports where seals died by getting entangled in plastic bags or packaging bands. These bands inside a pile of plastic have been the root cause of death for seals as well as sea lions. In South East Alaska and British Columbia an 8-year long study documented 388 sea lions getting entangled in plastic debris. And, this is just some of the many reports where packing bands led to severe infection & death of these poor marine animals.

3. Marine birds

Albatross is one of the most impacted species of marine birds from plastic trash. They use their beak to catch fish, squid or other sea animals into the ocean and sometimes pick up debris along the way. Unknowingly, the birds consume such plastic debris which leads to disruption in their internal organs. It is reported that almost 98% of these albatross have plastic trash in their stomach.

4. Fishes

It is estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans. Just like any other marine animal these also have plastic debris ingested inside themselves which slowly kills them as well. Plastic microfibers which we cannot see from our naked eyes can be found inside their stomach. But, the major cause of concern is:

  • Most humans consume fish on a daily basis
  • These fishes that we are getting served on a platter has plastic microfibers ingested into their stomach

This means that the plastic we throw away is now found in seafood being consumed by us unknowingly. This is certainly a grave situation to ponder for all of us and we must act fast.

5. Whales

Whales have large mouths so they unknowingly pick up plastic debris along with food. This chokes them later when the debris grows to such an extent that it blocks their digestive system as well. There have been two major incidents where whales were found ashore with tons of plastic products inside their stomach. One was a sperm whale that recently washed ashore dead in Indonesia and the other one was a dying pilot whale. You can read the full news on our previous Blog.

SteelStraws.in – Making an effort

The marine species has been impacted dearly from the adverse plastic waste. Oceans are filled with huge piles of plastic debris that we have sent over the years. At SteelStraws.in, we are making efforts to spread awareness against single-use plastic. Our mission is to urge people to use Stainless Steel Straws instead of Plastic straws. So, help us take this fight to the next level. Adopt Greener alternatives and “Say NO to Plastic” for real!

Whale found dead with 1000+ plastic pieces in its stomach
Plastic pollution – Things we must know and how to beat it

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