June 23, 2023

Plastic Bags Are Killing Florida’s Sea Turtles

My daughter and I have been watching Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom during the evening hours this summer. The show is a behind-the-scenes look at two of Disney’s most beloved animal experiences: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and The Seas with Nemo & Friends at EPCOT. It’s equal parts entertaining and educational and features 1000+ animal care experts, biologists, and veterinarians engaging in important research and conservation efforts.


I love this show for two reasons:


First, who doesn’t love a behind-the-scenes look at the world’s largest theme park – 580 acres! – and one of the happiest places on earth? There’s magic in a sneak peek, especially when it includes a birthday party for Galápagos tortoises.


Second, who doesn’t feel a little more motivated to “be the change” after seeing others act? Seeing others change and improve our relationship with the world around us? It gives us hope, and hope is a reminder not to give up.


In one episode a group of green sea turtles arrives at Disney’s Animal Kingdom for medical attention before being released back into the ocean. The turtles are emaciated and malnourished, having been washed ashore for an extended period of time. They need rescue and rehabilitation.


Sea turtles are sentinels of the ocean, playing an important role in the health of our marine ecosystem. But they’re also a threatened species in Florida and around the world. One of the reasons? Plastic. In this particular episode we learn there are an estimated 5.2 trillion pieces of plastic within our oceans, and that all are potentially fatal to sea turtles. Like plastic bags, which look exactly like a sea turtle’s favorite food: moon jellyfish.


Did you know an estimated 80 million plastic bags litter the environment every year? And each takes 1,000 years to break down? Perhaps one simple way to show up for our sea turtles friends is to limit our use of plastic bags. How? Recycle your plastic bag if you can (find a drop-off location near you using this tool). Reuse your plastic bag when you can. And find a sustainable alternative wherever you can (aka a reusable tote).


The small group of green sea turtles that arrived at Disney’s Animal Kingdom received care and returned to the ocean. They flipped and flopped their way towards crashing waves under the watchful gaze of Disney’s conservationists. It was a small reminder that we have the power to repair and restore things that we’ve broken and can make things better for even the smallest sea creatures.


Need a dumpster delivered to your home or construction site in Naples or Bonita Springs? Our family would welcome the opportunity to serve you. Complete our online form or call us at (239) 992-6219. A portion of our profits are donated to people and organizations who are actively, passionately, and consistently using their roles to drive change in the areas of environmental protection, including those working to save the sea turtles.