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Single-use plastics are synonymous with convenience in a lot of ways. The coffee we need in order to form coherent thoughts comes with a plastic top so we can take sips while we’re on the go, plastic utensils thrown into takeaway bags let us eat our food while in transit (if we so choose), and those semi-opaque white plastic bags assist us in all walks of life, from carrying our groceries to holding our takeout. While these objects have certainly made life (slightly) more convenient for us, they have a devastating effect on our planet and the creatures who call it home. How bad is it? Let’s break it down. Every year, around 300 million tons of plastic materials come into circulation, but 85 percent of it never sees the inside of a recycling bin. And when we don’t recycle, that trash ends up in landfills — but it never stays there. A majority of those plastics end up in our oceans permanently – around 8.8 million tons, to be exact.

Our oceans are more than just large bodies of salt water that make for pretty pictures on our social media feed. They’re home to millions of different animal species and because of plastic, 700 of those species are faced with extinction from pollution, entanglement, and ingestion. When you’re an ocean dweller and your home is literally being infested with plastic, it’s not so easy to adapt. Especially if you’re a sea turtle single-use plastic bags look remarkably similar to jellyfish, one of your sources of food. The Plastic Pollution Coalition posted the photo below, illustrating just how easy it is for plastic to end up in the stomachs of so many unfortunate sea creatures.

In the left jar is a plastic bag. On the right, a jellyfish. Both look far too similar for a hungry sea turtle.

This is What a Plastic Bag Looks Like to a Sea Turtle
 

 

Seeing this photo, it’s really no wonder that an international study from the University of Queensland discovered that 50 percent of sea turtles have plastic in their stomachs. The thing is, single use plastics aren’t necessary, nor is it too difficult to cut back on the amount of disposable plastics we use – but it all starts with our personal choices (and a little advanced prep).

If we know that it’s impossible to start our day without a cup of piping hot coffee that’s black as the night, then a reusable to-go cup can help eliminate needless waste. Likewise, by carrying a compact reusable tote in our bag, we can help cut down on the 100 billion single-use plastic bags that make their way to landfills annually. If we all do our part to eliminate the need for single-use plastics in our life, whether it’s little by little or all at once, we can make an amazing difference for the planet and the creatures we share it with.

To learn more, read the articles below:

To find out how you can use your everyday choices to help marine animals, join One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!

Let’s #CrushPlastic! Click the graphic below for more information.

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Lead image source: Plastic Pollution Coalition/Facebook

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0 comments on “This Image Shows Why Sea Turtles Are Confusing Plastic Bags for Jellyfish”

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jollypiggynoplastic
2 Months Ago

y people use plactic in the first place


Reply
Tanya Miller
1 Years Ago

I know. This is so sad. I have pushing this for years. Now we can vote.


Reply
bob
19 Nov 2017

?

bob
19 Nov 2017

u

Cassie Thompson
1 Years Ago

Sick


Reply
Jeanne Baldwin
1 Years Ago

If you pay attention to YouTube ... you will see what is happening to our planet, the Only Planet of Life. 1. Tsunamis take untold tons of human junk into the ocean 2. Cliffs are falling off the edge of continents, and going into the ocean with all their acquired human stuff 3. Earthquakes dump human poisons into the great abyss 4. Earthquakes will eventually divide continents, and all the human made stuff and junk will fall into the ocean. 5. Sinkholes are dragging human garbage down into the earth, and eventually it will end up in the ocean. 6. Cargo ships and pleasure craft crash and sink in the ocean. All of this will eventually enter the ocean, and kill the marine life...which will end up in a catastrophic end of Earth. This is science.


Reply
Jeanne Baldwin
1 Years Ago

PLEASE STOP USING PLASTIC ! EVEN DRINKING STRAWS


Reply
Nancy Brittain Smith
1 Years Ago

Yes and the Cruise ships are the worst ones for dumping their garbage in the Oceans. They should be banned. I went on one cruise in 2000 and when I found out what the cruise ships do with their trash I Boycott all cruises and will never go on one again.


Reply
Stephanie Rossi
1 Years Ago

Wow


Reply
Diane Levy
1 Years Ago


Reply
Christine Utzinger
1 Years Ago

So important to know about!


Reply
Everett Mack
1 Years Ago

Or maybe humans could just stop being dicks and not throw garbage in the ocean, and recycle all of these things. We don't have to live in the stone ages, we just have to be responsible. Humans are the problem, not inanimate objects.


Reply
Jeanne Baldwin
25 Oct 2016

Recycling still keeps the remnants of plastic and trash in the environment. We have to stop accruing all our little/big trinkets. We ARE from the Earth ... we have to live in rhythm with Nature, or Planet Earth will die.



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