Turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish

Turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish in the ocean?

Scientists have shown that plastic bags in the ocean not only look like jellyfish, but also smell like food!

A US study showed that after a while, microbes, algae, plants and tiny animals start to colonise the plastic bags. This creates a scent that attracts many marine animals, including turtles, whales or even birds. Their instinct will guide them towards these areas that are now full of trash, making them believe all this trash is actually food, and making turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish.

Remember, millions of tons of plastic waste ends up in the ocean each year. One example of this is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the largest concentration of marine debris in the world. Click here to read our article about this. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is located in the Pacific Ocean, and is estimated to be 1.6 million km2, around three times the size of France, or two times the size of Texas, and growing. The vast majority of debris is made of micro plastics that can’t be seen by the naked eye.

What is the impact of plastic waste on humans?

A study by the University of Newcastle in Australia has found that in average, people ingest 5 grams of plastic every week, or 2,000 micro plastic particles. This is equivalent to eating a credit card every week! 😨 (Read our article about how much microplastics we eat every week)

Microplastics can be found in fish, but can also be found in water, beer, shellfish or salt. Drinking water has the highest concentration of micro plastics, and bottled water is even worse! Shellfish and salt follow.

What can we do about it?

In this order: Refuse, Reuse, Relove, Recycle!

Refuse: if you can avoid single-use plastic, do it. Replace your plastic bottle by a reusable bottle, replace your plastic bag by a reusable one.

Reuse: if you happen to have a plastic bottle or plastic bag with you (not always possible to avoid), reuse them as many times as possible before sending it for recycling.

Relove: if they are broken, try to find them another use, relove them! Try some DIY projects are give them a new life!

Recycle: finally, as a last option, send them for recycling (or downcycling).

Where can I find alternatives to single-use plastic products?

The most common switch is ditching the single-use plastic bottle for a reusable and durable water bottle. But there are many more! 

You can find reusable food covers, reusable takeaway containers, reusable coffee cups, reusable napkins, reusable straws, reusable nappies and so many more!

Have a look at our eco-brand directory, where we have recommendations of brands for each category of products. 

What is the eco-brand directory?

It is just a catalogue of sustainable brands, that we classified by type of product to make the search easier. You can find eco-brands for phone cases, for clothing, for cleaning products, anything you need! It’s not an online shop, we don’t sell the products ourselves. Just a catalogue with brands that we have tried and that we love. Click here to have a look.

Author: easyecotips