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Do You Really Need That Straw? This Article Will Change Your Mind

Warning: The following video is graphic and contains strong language.

A University of Queensland researcher recently led a study that revealed more than half of the world’s turtles have eaten scraps of the estimated 12 million tons of plastic that are dumped into oceans each year. Mistaking the garbage as prey, they ingest the plastic, which could create some potentially fatal issues, including the absorption of hazardous chemicals into their tissue and complications in the gut.

The male Olive Ridley turtle in the following video was found by a group of marine biologists off Guanacaste, Costa Rica. The footage shows the scientists removing a straw, nearly 5 inches long, from the wounded and struggling turtle. Please note the actions the biologist’s took to remove the plastic straw from the turtle’s nasal cavity, though extreme, was absolutely necessary to save its life. Please reduce your consumption of single-use plastics and properly dispose and/or recycle plastic waste to prevent events like this from happening.

Viewer discretion advised.

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In posting the video, the scientists urged the public to reconsider unnecessary single-use plastic items. Instead, consider reusable containers, like this one.

Other dangers lurk for sea turtles. You can help. 

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L.D. and her eleven-year-old lab, Eleanor Rigby Fitzgerald, moved from Seattle to Grand Rapids earlier this year, and are currently enjoying exploring their new city! She likes books, music, movies, running, and being outdoors as much as possible.