In Alberta, Canada, a man recently made a discovery that shows just how directly our plastic waste affects wildlife. While fishing in the Saskatchewan River, Adam Turnbull came across a fish like no other he had ever seen – one that had grown with a plastic ring now embedded into its body. The piece of plastic turned out to be a Powerade wrapper. The sad series of images that Turnbull posted on Facebook is another reminder that our plastic waste never just “goes away.”
Turnbull started his post with a simple call: “Pick up your garbage.”
“This is a Powerade wrapper which takes up no room in your pocket until you get to a garbage can,” he wrote.
Turnbull told UNILAD that, when he first saw the fish, he thought that it had been attacked and wounded by another fish. When he picked it out of the water, however, he noticed the wrapper – then grabbed a pair of scissors and carefully removed it.
In just a few days, his post has been shared more than 12,000 times.
Once freed from the plastic wrapper, the fish was released back into the water and “shot off like a rocket,” hopefully never to need human help again.
Plastic trash poses a serious threat to marine animals who are susceptible to ingesting and getting entangled in the debris. More and more often, we see the way animals are directly impacted by what we throw away – and this trend will not change as long as we do not change our habits when it comes to our plastic consumption. Every year, around 8.8 million tons of plastic end up in the oceans. It has become so all-pervasive that now researchers find pieces of it even in such improbable remote places as the Arctic Ocean.
To learn how to use less plastic in your everyday life, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!
All image source: Adam Turnbull/Facebook