A University of Queensland study has shown that sea turtles, specifically the leatherback and green turtle species, are eating more plastic than ever before, up to twice as much as they did just twenty five years ago. Plastic becomes ocean debris and in turn, becomes part of the young ocean-going turtles’ diets.
Strangely enough, turtles that live near heavily populated areas eat the least amount of plastic, while all the turtles that live near undeveloped areas in southern Brazil were found to have eaten plastic. This means that cleaning up coastal areas isn’t going to do much good.
Turtles aren’t the only marine creatures that are at risk from eating plastic debris either; birds and other animals are also in danger.
The only solution is to reduce man-made debris before it gets to the ocean. Around 80% of the plastic debris comes from land, so waste management strategies are essential to reduce marine debris.