Straw or No Straw

How does plastic impact the environment?

Plastic can be used to save wildlife, but it can also be extremely dangerous, especially when we over-produce, over-use, and over-consume and then fail to reuse, recycle, and/or dispose of it properly. Most plastics are not biodegradable and cannot be broken down naturally by bacteria or other living things, and as a result, most of it ends up in wildlife habitats where it poses a threat to plants and animals.

More than 50% of all of the plastic ever made has been produced since 2004. Plastic pollution is a result of the buildup of plastic waste that has accumulated over decades and especially over recent years. The accumulated plastic finds its way into our lakes, rivers, and oceans, where aquatic life is in danger of ingesting plastic or being exposed to the toxins that leach from it. Some wildlife, like sea turtles, sea birds, and marine mammals, can even get trapped or ensnared in plastic waste. Millions of turtles, seabirds, and other wildlife die each year from complications directly related to plastic consumption. It’s estimated that as many as 70% of seabirds and 30% of turtles have ingested some type of plastic from the ocean. [1]

Read More at Association of Zoos & Aquariums.

Credit: Rob Vernon of AZA

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