It’s 2019 and thanks to Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II we’re only just starting to understand the sheer ‘unfolding catastrophe’ that is the world’s plastic pollution epidemic.
We can all sit and complain about drinking McDonald’s milkshakes through soggy paper straws, but more and more often stories like this come around and prove just why the world needs to stand up and say no to plastic.
Heartbreaking photos have emerged showing the devastating fatal end for an endangered sea turtle who was found dead after reportedly pooing out plastic bags.
Sea turtles are under threat from plastics pollution in our oceans which has become one of the world’s biggest environmental concerns in recent months.
Local resident Arnel Emplamado found the dead green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) while out for a walk along the coast of the village of Poblacion, near the town of Valladolid in the province of Negros Occidental in the Philippines.
Poblacion Village Captain Bill Kratzer said the turtle showed no visible sign of injuries but had been defecating plastic bags from its rectum.
He said the turtle was about 3ft long and about 2ft wide, adding: It looked a bit damaged, especially the tail part.
Environment officials at the nearby town of Valladolid advised residents to bury the turtle which they did later that day. No official cause of death was determined prior to the burial.
Green sea turtles are listed as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.
One major threat is ocean plastics pollution as the turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish and eat them, according to scientists.
A study in Australia last September said some turtles had been found to have swallowed hundreds of bits of plastic, while as few as 14 pieces significantly increased their risk of death.
A UN Environment Programme report last year revealed the Philippines was one of just five countries that produce about half of the world’s plastic waste that ends up in oceans.
In a recent report, Sir David Attenborough described the pollution as an ‘unfolding catastrophe’.
This report is one of the first to highlight the impacts of plastic pollution not just on wildlife but also on the world’s poorest people.
It is high time we turn our attention fully to one of the most pressing problems of today – averting the plastic pollution crisis – not only for the health of our planet, but for the wellbeing of people around the world.
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Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the LADbible Group team in 2017.