This poor tiny turtle pooped ‘pure plastic’ for six days after being rescued from a beach in Sydney.
This tiny turtle arrived at Taronga Wildlife Hospital recently with a stomach full of plastic. We hope the NSW Plastic Action Plan will reduce the number of turtles admitted to us in the future. To support the vital work of our hospitals, please visit https://t.co/QCMerPsjYb pic.twitter.com/lJ92Ceu2jr
— Taronga Zoo (@tarongazoo) July 28, 2022
The green sea turtle hatchling was missing a flipper when it was found on the beach immobilized and lying on its back in a rockpool. The 127-gram hatchling was taken to Sydney’s Taronga zoo’s wildlife hospital.
According to the wildlife hospital, it was missing one of its four flippers, had a chip in another, and had a hole in its shell. Besides these injuries, the turtle appeared to be in a good condition and did not have trouble swimming.
“But then it started to defecate, and it defecated plastic for six days. No feces came out, just pure plastic,” the Taronga veterinary nurse Sarah Male said.
“It was all different sizes, colours and compositions. Some were hard, some were sharp, and with some, you could tell the plastic had writing on it. This is all some of these poor little things are eating. There’s so much plastic around they’re just consuming it as their first initial food,” she said.
They filled up six tiny vials full of plastic. Luckily, the turtle survived and now weighs almost 400 grams. However, it could be a whole year before the animal can be released back into the ocean.
Globally, we produce 300 million tons of plastic every year, 78 percent of which is NOT reclaimed or recycled. Around 8.8 million tons of plastic get dumped into the oceans every year! 700 marine animals are faced with extinction due to the threat that plastic poses to them in the form of entanglement, pollution, and ingestion. 50 percent of sea turtles have plastic in their stomachs. By 2050, 99 percent of all seabird species will have ingested plastic waste. According to a study by the World Economic Forum, there will be one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish by 2025, and if things go on business as usual, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050.
Read more about how companies like Facebook, Tupperware, Google, Dove, Budweiser, Carlsberg, and FIJI Water are working towards reducing plastic pollution. Places around the world like Tel Aviv, California, Baltimore, Scotland, and many more are banning various single-use plastics, and others are coming up with creative ways to recycle and use plastic waste.
There are products you may be using or habits you may have that contribute to plastic pollution. Learn more about how the use of Teabags, Cotton Swabs, Laundry, Contact Lenses, Glitter, and Sheet Masks pollute our oceans so you can make more informed decisions going forward. There are also numerous simple actions and switches that can help cut plastic out of our lives including, making your own cosmetics, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, household cleaners, using mason jars, reusable bags/bottles/straws, and avoiding microbeads!
To learn more about the impact of plastic waste, please read the articles below:
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