DATE: December 5, 2018
SNIP: Research published in the journal Global Change Biology revealed that more than 800 synthetic particles, including “microplastics,” were found in the digestive systems of 102 sea turtles examined from 3 ocean basins.
The fact that microplastics were found in all of the turtles tested by researchers — in oceans all across the world — highlights the impact of marine plastic waste and its potential effects on animals. The study estimated that between 4.8 and 12.7 million tons of plastic waste could enter the world’s waters each year.
The sea turtles were pulled from seven species from across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans as well as the Mediterranean Sea. They performed necropsies on the turtles, examining their “gut content.”
The samples extracted only provide a look at a portion of the turtles’ gut content, indicating that the actual synthetic particle content throughout a turtle’s whole gut is likely to be 20 times higher.