Can You See Why Plastic Bags Are A Problem?
Recently, I saw this amazing video of a sea turtle feeding on a jellyfish.
Isn't that cool? I love to watch videos and I bet you do too. There's something awesome about seeing the underwater world in action. I wish I could be in the water everyday, but when I HAVE to be a land creature, I like to see what my ocean friends are up to.
I love the way the sea turtle in this video twists and turns and floats almost effortlessly through the water as he eats the jellyfish. He looks a bit like a cow grazing in a meadow, or a llama chewing his cud.
The jellyfish, in turn, looks like a huge piece of floating cauliflower or an exotic mushroom. Jellyfish seem to drift aimlessly in the current, following wherever the water takes them (although we now know from scientific studies that this isn't true. Jellyfish have an amazing capacity to propel themselves through the water and against a current).
Sea turtles eat jellyfish. That's a fact of life in the ocean and part of the natural cycle of life in our world. So, what does this have to do with plastic bags?
Well, unfortunately, all of the plastic bags we use have to go somewhere. Think about how many bags you can accumulate in just one day if you go shopping. Those bags can add up really fast! And a lot of them end up floating in the ocean. Sadly, sea turtles mistake them for jellyfish and eat them.
Here, you can see a plastic bag floating underwater. Next, you can see a jellyfish. See how similar they appear?
Sea turtles, like all wild creatures, face many dangers. While we can't do anything about natural threats like raccoons and crabs feasting on turtle eggs or shark attacks in the water, we can do something about marine debris.
The Sea Turtle Conservancy reports that an estimated "100 million marine animals are killed each year due to plastic debris in the ocean" (any kind of plastic garbage that makes its way into the ocean!). Over "80% of that plastic comes from land."
Just think about that. Did you ever wonder where the plastic bags you use every day end up? How about plastic things you throw away?
While much of our contemporary world depends on plastic and things made out of plastic, there is something you can do RIGHT NOW! Next time you go shopping, think about whether or not you really need a plastic bag! I carry my backpack with me almost everywhere I go. So, I don't need a plastic bag. I can usually put my purchases in my bag. You can also purchase reusable cloth bags for shopping.
Let's keep our sea turtle friends healthy and safe (and munching on the occasional jellyfish snack!).
PS: the Sea Turtle Conservancy is a GREAT place to do more research to learn about our awesome (and sometimes grumpy) sea turtle friends!