Plastic products are a huge threat to marine life. For instance, plastic bags and fish netting/gear often entangle birds, turtles, and other sea organisms, causing to become caught and immobilized. Some can even die. Other sea organisms often mistake small plastics for food. Plastic, which takes thousands of years to decompose, stays in the stomachs of whales, dolphins, turtles, and many other crustaceans, often blocking their digestive tracts and killing them. Plastics also pollute the ocean – they contain toxic chemicals that can be very threatening.
I think photos like this sum it up pretty well. Not only are animals consuming, choking, etc. on plastics that harm and can eventually kill them, plastics are degrading in the ocean and releasing harmful toxins. Some of these toxins mimic hormones and disrupt the functioning of the bodies of different organisms. These toxins can build up in higher organisms as they eat a lot of prey, and can end up in our systems based on how much sea food we eat.
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