Plastic is durable, boyant and can accumulate dangerous toxins. About 90% of floating debris in the ocean is plastic. Marine/ freshwater life is especially susceptible because plastic takes so long to break down. One piece has the capability to kill new animals year after year.
Various items like fishing line, strapping bands and six-pack rings can interfere with the mobility of animals. Once animals are tangled they have trouble eating, breathing or swimming, which almost always results in fatality.
Birds, fish and mammals often mistake plastic for food and ingest many pieces overtime. With plastic filling their stomachs, animals feel full without getting any actual nutrition. This causes them to die of starvation. Sea turtles think plastic bags look like jellyfish, which is one of their favorite foods. Even gray whales have plastic bags inside their stomachs.
HOW DEBRIS HARMS PEOPLE
Creek and beach visitors can be cut by glass and metal left on the beach. Marine debris also reduces the safety of fishermen and recreational boaters. Nets and monofilament fishing line can entangle propellers and plastic bags can cover engine cooling intakes. These types of damages cost fisherman and boaters thousands of dollars in repairs each time an incident occurs.
Heal the Bay is committed to making more cleanup locations Zero Waste Sites. No more plastic!