Plastic in our Watershed

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Marine Life

How Does Plastic Affect Marine Life?

Before we discuss why plastic is bad for marine animals we must understand how marine animals are important to us. In many cultures seafood is the main source of food and is also their main income. Marine animals also have made great advances in medicines. A big part of why marine animals are so helpful is that they help clean and filter the water. Shellfish such as mussels absorb the waste and bacteria in water.

Now we can figure out why plastic is bad for animals. There is actually many reasons that plastic is bad for marine life. One way is that marine animals can die from plastic. This happens because the animal mistakes pieces of plastic for food and swallows it. Now, one piece of plastic wouldn't hurt an animal much. But, if the water is really polluted with plastic then the chances that the animal will eat a lot of plastic are pretty high. Obviously, plastic has no nutritional value to theses animals but as the animals eat more plastic there stomach gets full of plastic so the animal thinks that they are full. In reality, the animal ate no real food. So the animal starves itself to death because it thinks plastic is food. This doesn't happen to just one or two animals in a species. Many many animals are dying this way. There are also many other ways that marine animals can be affected from plastic. For example, animals can choke on big pieces of plastic.


This turtle is an example of how badly our plastic trash can affect marine life.