Leatherbacks, which feed primarily on jellyfish, are known to mistake plastic bags for food. Now a recent study has shown just how deadly plastic may be for the critically endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtle. Autopsy records of 408 leatherback turtles, spanning 123 years (1885–2007), found plastic in the GI tract 34% of the time! Sometimes, the ingested plastic even blocked the gut, likely resulting in death of the turtle. Notice the large increase in plastic found in leatherbacks since the 1960s.
Plastic bags may kill tens of thousands of whales, seals, turtles and other marine animals a year.
What can YOU do about it? Get your city to phase out the use of plastic bags! San Francisco already did it. Los Angeles banned plastic bags by July 1, 2010.