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The Harmful Effects Plastic Pollution Has on Endangered Sea Turtles

The Harmful Effects Plastic Pollution Has on Endangered Sea Turtles

Posted by Ashley Renee on Dec 1st 2020

Almost all species of sea turtles are listed as endangered. Beginning at birth sea turtles are faced with the cruelty of plastic pollution. After hatching, sea turtles crawl through plastic to reach their forever home. Once in their oceanic home, they swim through plastic while migrating to their next place of rest. In searching for food, sea turtles confuse plastic pollution for their favorite source of nutrients - jellyfish. Plastics are killing our sea turtles. These ancient peacemakers of the sea need our help to get off the endangered list.

Plastics Look Like Jellyfish

Sadly, plastic bags in the water resemble jellyfish. A study showed that turtles which consumed fourteen pieces of plastics had a 50% chance of survival although one piece could potentially kill a sea turtle. When sea turtles ingest plastic pollution, it gives the turtles the false feeling of being full, therefore, they don’t look for other sources of food. If they do happen to ingest other food, the plastics inhibit the sea turtle from absorbing the nutrients from the other sources. Consuming sharp plastics can cause sea turtles to have extreme internal damage, rupturing their intestines. If this weren’t bad enough, the buoyancy of plastics is life-threatening to sea turtles as well. Plastics retain their buoyancy when inside sea turtles’ stomachs. This makes it difficult for sea turtles to swim at their normal depth in the ocean. In return, their growth is stunted, and they experience lower levels of reproduction rates.

Plastic Fishing Nets

Plastic pollution knows no boundaries within the ocean. Simply put, the effects of plastics on sea turtles are relentless. Sea turtles are prone to getting themselves stuck in plastic fishing nets. Often, they break free, but they escape with severe injuries, sometimes losing a limb. Sadly, if they cannot break free the result is drowning. A high rate of 91% of turtles entangles in plastic fishing nets die.

  • 1)Educate, inform, and bring awareness. The more you utilize your voice and media as an advocate for sea turtles, the more you bring awareness to those who may not think about how their personal decisions affect our sea neighbors.
  • 2)Invest in eco-friendly brands. Take the time and perhaps spend a little extra more to invest in companies who are behind the environment, doing what it takes to not leave a carbon footprint. In doing this, you are saving the oceans through one its biggest threats- industry.
  • 3)Clean up beaches. When you hit the beach, keep your eyes out for plastic pollution. Take a moment and encourage the people you’re with to pick up debris when you see it. Just think, you may have removed an obstacle to the next baby sea turtle’s life.
  • 4)Bring your own utensils. Eating take-out? Replace the plastic cutlery with your own non-plastic utensils. It doesn’t require much effort and in doing so you may be able to stick your noodles better while saving a sea turtles life.

With Human Design you are not only purchasing jewelry, you are purchasing an investment. Your jewelry purchase pays it forward. Human Design deeply cares about the oceans. That’s why Human Design uses only nickel-free jewelry and does not use plastic in its eco-friendly packaging. Besides from doing its part behind the scenes, Human Design has an eco-friendly mandate to make a stand for the environment and its loving creatures.