It’s hard to watch, but this video shows the harsh reality of what marine life endures at the hands of humans. In the video, a rescuer pulls what appears to be plastic netting out of a sea turtle’s mouth for what seems like an eternity. Thankfully, she finally reaches the end of the twine and continues with a flipper check, but the scene is a real eye-opener.

It’s estimated that fifty percent of sea turtles have been found to have plastic in their stomachs, and six of the seven species are now listed as vulnerable or endangered. Studies have shown that 85 percent of the plastic we throw away is not recycled, and over 8.8 million tons of these plastics are dumped into the oceans every year. According to researchers at Plymouth University, 693 species have been documented as having encountered plastic debris, with nearly 400 involving entanglement and ingestion.

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Thankfully, awareness surrounding the devastating effects of plastic on our oceans is at an all-time high thanks to social media. From plastic straw and bag bans to taxes, efforts to limit plastic pollution are setting the tone for a much more sustainable future.

This video is a stark reminder of what happens to plastic when we are done with it, so please, next time you pick up single-use plastic, remember this poor turtle and maybe consider picking up a reusable item instead.

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To learn more about how you can eliminate plastic from your everyday life, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!

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