Plastics are known to be a toxic threat to human health, animals and environment alike. Apart from affecting human health, plastic also affects the marine and coastal environment either as litter or as microplastics. Though the environmental scientists have been warning of its consequences and pleading to minimize or stop the usage of plastic, no strict measures have been implemented so far.
Sadly, every year hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales, and other marine mammals, and more than 1 million seabirds die from ocean pollution and ingestion or entanglement in marine debris. Marine debris is man-made waste that is directly or indirectly disposed of in oceans, rivers, and other waterways.
In yet another troubling reminder of the hazards that plastic products can pose to marine life, a sea turtle was found washed up on a beach in the town of Struisbaai, South Africa recently. The locals who observed it an immovable state offered some treatment. As the turtle’s condition hasn’t improved, they moved it to a veterinary hospital and shockingly, a plastic bag and other trash being removed from a sea turtle’s throat.
The turtle is still in critical condition and is being monitored. The sea turtle was found on the South African beach at around the same time that a dead sperm whale washed up in a national park in Indonesia, its stomach chock-full of plastic waste.