Any Defender reading this has used a plastic bag at one time in their lives. In fact, we use them so much plastic bags seem like such an important commodity to the human race. We use them for all kinds of things from shopping, storage, carrying things, taking out trash, keeping food fresh and whatever other clever ways us humans can use a plastic bag for. Plastic bags can be a great help, but they have a dark side that some people don’t realize.
The methods of creating plastic were created around the 1970s and it was thought by many to be a great recyclable material. Believe it or not, plastic is a great recyclable material! The problem is most defenders do not tend to recycle it. This has become a HUGE issue and many plastic products, such as plastic bags tend to make their way into the environment and start to have negative effects on things like animals.
Pollution in general, is horrible for all environments and plastic bags have started to make there way into history for having devastating effects on animals, especially marine life. Dozens of different species mistake them for food and eat them, including sharks, sea turtles, birds, fish and even whales. Plastic bags tend to fill with water and take on a shape that looks like jellyfish, so things like sea turtles, which feed on jellyfish tend to take on a lot of negative impact. Animals get their heads and bodies stuck in plastic bags. Plants can get covered in them. We have even started to see plastic being used by birds in their bird nest. Plastic is everywhere, Defenders.
We have recently started to learn that lots of plastic breaks down in the environment and becomes microplastics, which we know have HUGE negative effects, which we are only starting to learn about. These negative effects have caused lots of changes to the ways we use plastic bags, especially in coastal cities and countries. Humans have been working hard to make a difference in the world of plastic pollution and that is GREAT news! You can make a difference too Defenders! Just be sure to recycle all recyclable material, and do things like pick up trash at the beach.
There is a lot more to learn about pollution and helping in the environment in the Reduce Your Carbon Footprint tile of the Kids’ Zone or you can swim on over to the Turtle Center and learn about MASSIVE sea turtles! Happy exploring Defenders!
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