100,000 Animals Drowning Every Year in The Plastic We Throw Away

With an estimated 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in every square mile of our oceans, our addiction to plastic is killing countless animals in some of the most horrific ways imaginable.

Considered by many as a threat worse than climate change, in a disturbing new report, leading expert Charles J. Moore, says that plastic is ‘choking our future in ways that most of us are barely aware.’

From takeouts and coffee cups, to toothbrushes and tires, plastic has become an integral part of human existence, but the real problem is where all the plastic that we throw out every day ends up.

Animals are the Victims of Our Throwaway Society

Plastic production has increased by more than 500% in the last 30 years, and with most people not giving a second thought as to what happens after they toss it out, plastic is taking over the ocean and threatening the animals that call it their home.

Huge garbage patches the size of Wales are forming in the world’s oceans, comprised of cigarette lighters, shampoo bottles, yogurt pots, plastic rings from six packs and much more. For hundreds of miles without end, Moore’s research vessel passed plastics of every description. During his trip Moore came across one of the most upsetting scenes he has ever encountered.

“I’ve seen many scenes in my work studying whales, dolphins and marine mammals, both uplifting and disheartening. But one of the saddest was the sight of a young grey seal pup in a colony on the idyllic shores of Cape Cod.

It was an otherwise healthy animal — but with a plastic strap looped round its neck — the kind you get around a parcel. Slowly but surely, as the animal grew, its noose would tighten.

As I looked at the animal, I could foretell its painful death, probably from starvation, as the seal became unable to feed.”

Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales and other marine mammals are dying each year as a result of eating plastic, just like the sperm whale that was recently discovered dead in Spain with 100 plastic bags inside its stomach. As if these figures aren’t shocking enough, experts also believe that more than 1 million seabirds are also being killed from ocean pollution, ingestion or entanglement.

We are the ones creating all this rubbish, and as such we share a collective responsibility for the deaths it is causing. We cannot shake it from our conscience by ignoring the situation or turning a blind eye; it is time to take responsibility and make changes.

What You Can Do To Help

The best way to stop plastic pollution in our oceans is to make sure it never reaches the water in the first place. Reducing, reusing and recycling is the way forward.

Take action today by following these steps to help cut down on your plastic use and protect our oceans:

  • Bring your own fabric bags to the store
  • Always choose reusable items whenever possible
  • If you need to use plastic, make sure you recycle after you’ve used it
  • Let businesses know that you want packaging that is fully recyclable
  • Host a clean up day where you get together with a group of volunteers to pick up trash at your local beach
  • Support and spread the message of organizations fighting plastic pollution

Photo credit: Thinkstock

323 comments

Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla2 years ago

We can do a lot, I mean A LOT, as consumers. You just need will to make changes.

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Jim Ven
Jim V2 years ago

thanks for the article.

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Mark Donners
Mark Donner2 years ago

Humanity is committing suicide as if they programmed rocket packs on their backs to take them to hell as fast as possible. And they keep making more and more little babies as fast as a swarm of sex crazed mosquitos (just to make sure that when they take Earth to hell, their offspring will suffer too). Nothing in this universe is as bad as human. There are exceptions to the rule of human monster, but they're overwhelmed by this race to suicide and destruction.

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Elizabeth Z.
Elizabeth Z2 years ago

This is so depressing.

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Jennifer H.
Jennifer H2 years ago

I watched a video that showed an island, Midway possibly, that was covered in dead and dying seabirds. Decomposed bodies comprised of feathers partial skeleton surrounding piles of plastic that had been ingested. Birds that were dying trying to sit and just wobbled. It was horrific. The island was not inhabited by humans. The birds would flyout eat plastic and then go back to the island. This video will really make you think about the plastic that we throw away.

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Marje Szelmeczka

Don't buy items that are sold with plastic connector rings like soda cans.
If you must shred it with a paper shredder.

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M. M.
M. M2 years ago

Reduce, recycle, reuse...

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Nikki Davey
Nikki Davey2 years ago

there are so few areas where recycling is easy enough for people in general to do it, not just the concerned few.
Yes I cut through plastic can wraps too

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BJ J.
BJ J2 years ago

Very limited plastic recycling in my area & 1 will only take plastic in plastic bags you purchase from them. Haven't seen condiments (ketchup, etc) in glass containers for years. I recycle any plastic "grocery" bags by reusing them for what little trash I have otherwise take cloth bags for shopping.

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Roslyn McBride
Roslyn M2 years ago

How does plastic rubbish end up in the ocean - isn't there a proper recycling place for it?

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