Plastic Waste in Animal's Guts

in STEMGeeks5 months ago

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Plastic is something that around 60 years ago began to massively produced due to high demand. We all have something plastic in our homes and the saddest thing is that we all have seen plastic in the streets and not in the garbage can.

You see i don't even mention recycling because 91% of plastic isn't recycled and that percentage is actually quite disappointing. Before we talk about animals and plastic waste we need to understand the volume of plastic that exists out there.

Even better i found a study that basically informing us about the number of all the plastic ever made!

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So we got 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic ever produced, can you believe it? Out of the 8.3 billion the 6.3 ones had become plastic waste and out of that only 9% has been recycled. if it continues like that, by 2050 we gonna have 12 billion metric tons of plastic.

Another research led by the same team in 2015 found out that 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in the ocean each year.

What does that mean? you wonder

Basically, all of these tons of plastic in the ocean become the new "food" anything living down there as well as some birds too. In fact, scientists have discovered plastic in 86% of all sea turtles, 44% of all seabird, and 43% of all marine mammal species.

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When they ingest plastic waste they can starve to death. It gives them the feeling that they are full while actually, it's the opposite. Not only that but depending on the toxicity of the plastic it can harm their health as well and you know whos health gonna harm next... that's right YOURS!

Did you know that polystyrene can last up to 500 years without biodegrading?

Just a small cigarette can take from 1 to 5 years to biodegrade and a small can of coca-cola 80 to 100 years. And we all know how many cigarettes and cans people throw on the streets without caring at all about the consequences in the environment.

Did you know that Camels face the same issue as well?

Many of us believe that the Ocean is affected deeply and that's true but the same applies to the land as well. About 390.000 dromedary camels live in the United Arab Emirates and from that number 1% die from plastic.

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M. ERIKSEN ET AL/J. ARID ENVIRO. 2021

That's how it really looks like having that much plastic in your guts. As i said before when camels, for example, eat plastic then they get the feeling that are full and not hungry. In turn, they starve to death.


Conclusion

It is really disappointing how we are destroying the nature and ecosystem around us. We tend to believe that there isn't any problem or that it won't reach us. The reality is that we have a problem, a big problem that it had already reached us. We need to understand what's happening and stop being delusional, it has an impact on us too.

We can do simple things to help, just don't throw your garbage on the streets. Also, start little by little recycling your plastic, glass, and anything recyclable in general. Start small with a simple can of Coca-Cola or a plastic bag!

Let's make our world a better place shall we?

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 5 months ago 

Do you think they knowingly eat the plastic or does the plastic look like something else to them?

I've heard that turtles can mistaken them for jellyfish and whatnot. Not sure what the rationale is for other animals with taste buds.

ahh that's an awesome question because i got also curious while searching. As far as it concerns the turtles you are correct, now regarding some animals many of which are birds they get attracted by the smell. Some of the plastics smell like food so they mistook them for food!

 5 months ago 

Interesting on the smells like food front. I suppose that only makes sense.