Why Plastic Harms Animals

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 2:55 PM

There's a lot of talk in the world about plastic harming animals and the environment. But these are just generalizations. Do you know the specific reasons and ways that plastic is harmful?

Plastics never fully break down. They are able to decompose to some degree, but when plastic is broken down, it releases harmful toxins that include flame retardants, plasticizers, and antimicrobials that can vastly hurt the endocrine system in various organisms. This is very commonly seen with marine life, and begins with waste that is simply thrown away on beaches throughout the world.

Often, there are animals that mistake the plastic waste that they find as food, and consume it. This is especially true of sea turtles, and has led to numerous deaths among this population. There are also fish that become trapped in plastic six pack holders. When some fish consume plastic, it can cause them to overproduce estrogen, creating male fish with female organs.

So, the next time you think of throwing your plastic on the beach, try taking a few more steps to putting it in the proper receptacle. It takes a little extra time, but you can save many animals in our environment that are helpless to the plastic waste that we dispose of.

See more at the link below:

http://ecowatch.com/2013/08/06/the-danger-of-plastic-bags-to-marine-life/

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