A new study conducted on sea turtles living in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and the Mediterranean Sea revealed stark results that plastic pollution is a global environmental crisis. Of the 102 sea turtles, the study found platics, microplastics and other synthetics in every single one of their digestive systems.
Conducted by the University of Exeter and Plymouth Marine Laboratory in the United Kingdom, the study confirms “”a clear sign that we need to act to better govern global waste.”
“It really is a great shame that many or even all of the world’s sea turtles have now ingested microplastics,” Brendan Godley, study author, said to Plastics News.
Scientists found an average of 150 pieces of plastic in each sea turtle totaling 800 particles either half a centimeter long or smaller in their stomachs, EcoWatch reported.
“From our work over the years we have found microplastic in nearly all the species of marine animals we have looked at; from tiny zooplankton at the base of the marine food web to fish larvae, dolphins and now turtles,” Penelope Lindeque, co-authored of the report, said. “This study provides more evidence that we all need to help reduce the amount of plastic waste released to our seas and maintain clean, healthy and productive oceans for future generations.”
The type of materials found inside the sea turtles included tires, marine equipment, cigarette and clothing, also there were microbeads, which the U.S. banned in 2015 followed by the U.K. earlier this year.
Of the body of waters tested, the Mediterranean was said to be the most polluted in the study, “with some turtles’ bodies containing 500 plastics,” EcoWatch reported.
“Our society’s addiction to throwaway plastic is fueling a global environmental crisis that must be tackled at source,” Louise Edge, an oceans campaign coordinator at Greenpeace, said.