From rescuing an endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle from balloon strings to finding microscopic bits of plastic on our beaches, if this year has taught us anything it’s that the plastic debris choking our oceans—all 100 million tons of it—is an urgent threat to all marine wildlife, especially sea turtles.
Whether it is a plastic bag or a discarded toy, plastic pollution impacts critically endangered sea turtles at every stage of their life:
Hatchlings are blocked by debris as they emerge from their nests on the beach.
Sea turtles drown from becoming entangled in discarded plastic bags, nets, fishing line.
Sea turtles unintentionally consume plastic in the open ocean when they mistake single use plastic bags for jellyfish, and brightly colored plastics as plant material.
What was once a convenient alternative for households across the globe has become a threat to all marine life.
Please join us in making resolutions to reduce ocean plastic pollution in 2019. Together, we can do our part to ensure sea turtles are protected from an increasingly urgent threat to marine wildlife: human-produced plastic.
Bring the Bag
By remembering to bring your own reusable bag every time you shop or run an errand, you can prevent 400-600 plastic bags from entering our oceans every year. Plastic bags do not break down for up to an estimate one thousand years, and even then they just break down into smaller pieces.
Vow to Stop Using Single-Use Plastics
Single-use plastic items like beverage bottles, plastic utensils, and plastic straws might be small, but their impact is huge. By 2025, there could be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans. This is due to single-use plastics never making it to the landfill or are recycled. Instead, it is left to flow into our oceans. By reusing these items and bringing your own bottles, stainless steel straws, and utensils, you can prevent single-use plastics from entering our waterways.
Participate in Beach Cleanups
Worldwide, 73 percent of beach litter is plastic, ranging from cigarette filters to bottle caps. By participating in local beach cleanups, you’ll help remove unwanted debris from our beaches and waterways—and spend time outdoors while doing it.
Support Eco-Friendly Initiatives
Our team stays on top of current issues that impact the ocean and its inhabitants—including marine debris issues like plastic straw and plastic bag bans—so you don’t have to. When you see an Action Alert from us, be sure to take action and be the voice for species and bodies of water that can’t speak for themselves.
Spread the Word
Turtle Island Restoration Network is made up of thousands of advocates, scientists, lawyers, and pro bono specialists, that all have one thing in common: we care about our blue-green planet. By spreading the word about our efforts, including the steps you’re taking to reduce ocean plastic pollution, we can increase our campaigns against plastic pollution, like our microplastics research currently underway in the Gulf of Mexico.