Plastic - everyday killer and destroyer of wildlife. This turtle was not lucky enough to get help in time. Plastic is everywhere. Did you know that "No-one in their daily life within a period of 10 minutes isn't touching something that is made of plastic"?
The rate at which plastic breaks down depends upon the conditions and the type of plastic. It breaks down faster if exposed to physical abrasion and sunlight. Then there's a lot to do with how thick the plastic is, how dense the plastic is, and does it have UV stabilisers. But even if that bag breaks down over the course of six months or a year, it might well have had a lot of environmental impact before that. It is really hard to quantify just how much plastic is in the ocean, but the latest figures estimate there are up to 51 trillion particles or 236,000 tonnes.
That says around 40 times the plastic that's in the ocean is going in every year. So there's a whole bunch that has to be going somewhere else. There are two types of plastics that float: polyethelene, which is used to make milk jugs and plastic bags, and polypropolene, which is used for things like bottle caps, straws and dairy containers. As they travel out to sea plastics get ground down into small, hard cubes, which can be eaten by marine animals.
Animals get wrapped up in monofilament fishing line nets, plastic bags, balloons, and straps. A research has estimated that between 5,000 and 15,000 sea turtles are entangled each year by derelict fishing gear washing ashore in northern Australia alone.Anything that is long or flexible or sheet-like is the worst.
The second biggest issue is the impact of eating plastic — it is estimated around 90 per cent of seabirds are doing so. These plastics can cause blockages of the gut or perforation of the intestines.
What plastic habits can you change today?
1. Buy vegetables not wrapped in plastic bags or in plastic containers?
2. Bring your own fabric or cloth bag when you do shopping?
3. Say no to plastic straws?
4. Sit down in the coffee shop instead of getting a takeaway coffee?
5. Refuse balloons?
6. Say no to soyfish sauce containers?
#northernbeachescleanupcrew #nbcuc #plastic #plasticfree #beachcleanup