These are images to which we are now sadly accustomed: dozens of centimeter-long pieces of plastic in the stomach of a turtle. The discovery was filmed by an Argentine association for the protection of the seabed, the Marine World Foundation. “The danger of plastic is that it is silent, explains Karina Alvarez, biologist. The animal seems in good health but it is during his check-up that we discover the amount of plastic he has ingested”. Unfortunately, if the animal is not treated in time, the outcome is often fatal because it ends up dying from this overflow of plastic. Right here, the turtles were released once the stomach is empty.
A 2015 study estimated the presence of plastic in the oceans at 150 million tonnes. One in ten marine animals would have already ingested this material developed by man at the beginning of the 20th century and whose use has continued to grow ever since. The invasion of this human invention in all the oceans and seas of the globe leads to the death of 1.5 million marine animals each year. The main problem with plastic comes from its very long lifespan: 100 to 1,000 years. In 2021, a study estimated at 110 tonnes, or 3.3 million bottles, the amount of plastic dumped into the Seine and ending up in the sea.