Plastic is killing 40 percent of young sea turtles, surprisingly has shown recent research.
Baby turtles are almost four times more likely to die from ingesting plastic debris compared to adults.
These animals not only have weaker bodies, but they also feed Inland waters closer to the surface, which are more likely to be contaminated with large plastic objects that can accumulate in your digestive tracts.
Autopsies on nearly 1,000 dead turtles found that more than half of the babies, and about a quarter of the juveniles, had swallowed plastic, compared to one in seven adults.
The study analyzed species such as loggerhead turtles, green turtles, leatherback turtles, hawksbill turtles, Kemp's ridleys and Kemp's ridleys.
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Not only do they have weaker bodies but they also feed in waters near the surface. These areas are more likely to be contaminated with large plastic objects that can accumulate in your digestive tracts
The scientists discovered between one and 329 individual pieces of plastic ingested by the turtles in the study.
The maximum weight of the plastic was 10.41 g (0.4 ounces).
According to scientists, there was a 50% chance of dying once the animal had only 14 pieces of plastic in the intestine.
The study, which is the first of its kind, was led by scientists from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Hobart, Tasmania.
It sheds new light on the risk posed by plastic pollution to the population of declining sea turtles in the world, which often confuse garbage poured into the ocean with food.
This can vary from six package rings, from canned drinks to discarded fishing gear.
The corresponding author, Dr. Denise Hardesty, of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, said: "The accumulation and persistence of plastic debris in the marine environment is a matter of growing concern.
"An estimated 4.8 to 12.7 million metric tons of plastic waste entered the world's oceans from land-based sources only in 2010, and it is likely that this contribution will increase exponentially in the future.
"This represents a considerable threat to marine life, mainly through entanglement and ingestion."
She said that although entanglement can have devastating effects, particularly when it comes to fishing gear, the ingestion of man-made debris is of increasing concern.
His team examined data from 952 autopsies on sea turtles thrown off the coast of Queensland since 1992.
His research confirmed the fear that plastic would disproportionately affect younger generations, especially babies.
The species considered included loggerhead turtles, green turtles, leatherback turtles, hawksbill turtles, olive ridley turtles and olive ridleys.
They found that 54 percent of the offspring and 23 percent of the juveniles had eaten plastic, compared to 16 percent of the adults.
Plastic is killing 40 percent of young sea turtles, has revealed shocking research. Baby turtles are almost four times more likely to die from eating plastic than adults. In the image, all plastic from the large intestine of a green turtle is removed
WHAT ARE THE MOST RECENT PREDICTIONS FOR THE FUTURE IMPACT OF OCEAN WASTE?
It is expected that the amount of plastic in the oceans will triple in just ten years, warned a report issued by the government of the United Kingdom in March 2018.
This key environmental problem runs the risk of being "out of sight, out of mind" with more knowledge about the surface of Mars and the Moon than over the deep seabed, he added.
The cost of plastic pollution at sea could be 150 million tons in 2025, tripling the estimated 50 million tons in 2015.
Our oceans store carbon dioxide and heat while producing oxygen and food, said the Future of the Sea Prospect Report.
On the growing plague of plastic pollution, the document warned that this will leave a physical presence, accumulating on the coasts or in particular areas of the ocean.
The report also warned that plastic litter on the coasts could increase the risk of dangerous bacteria in the water, such as E. coli.
He said efforts to reduce plastic pollution should focus on preventing it from entering the sea, developing new biodegradable materials and public awareness campaigns.
The amount of plastic in the turtle's digestive tract also varied according to the cause of death.
Those who had died of unknown causes, who acted as a statistical control group, had consumed the smallest amounts followed by those who had been hit by boats or drowned.
Fundamentally, those who died from ingestion of plastic had eaten more, which underscores their threat to sea turtles and other marine species.
Dr. Hardesty said: "Animals that die from known causes that are not related to ingestion of plastic have less plastic in the intestine than those that die from undetermined causes or from direct ingestion of plastic, such as intestinal impaction and perforation. .
"We found a 50 percent chance of mortality once an animal had 14 pieces of plastic in the intestine."
She added: "Our results provide the critical link between recent estimates of plastic intake and the effects of the population on this environmental threat."
The amount of plastic in the turtle's digestive tract also varied according to the cause of death. In the photo, a green turtle swimming near North Stradbroke Island
Last year, researchers at the University of Exeter discovered that more than 1,000 sea turtles die each year from plastic debris in the oceans and on beaches. The global study said that this figure is "almost certainly a great underestimation"
The findings, published in Scientific Reports, show that feeding location and life cycle stage can affect the risk of turtle death.
Dr. Hardesty explained: "Younger turtles tend to float with the currents and feed in waters near the surface, which are more likely to be contaminated with large plastic objects that can accumulate in the digestive tracts of animals or cause perforation. "
Sea turtles were some of the first recorded animals that consumed plastic debris, a phenomenon that occurs in all regions of the world and in the seven species of sea turtles & # 39;.
She said: "Overall, it is estimated that approximately 52 percent of all marine turtles have ingested plastic debris.
"Plastic in the marine environment is a growing environmental problem.
"Sea turtles are at significant risk of ingesting plastic waste at all stages of their life cycle with potentially lethal consequences."
The study has implications for all marine life from seabirds and fish to mammals and a variety of invertebrates, including corals.
Dr. Hardesty said: "It is known that almost 700 species interact with artificial debris and, as more species are investigated, the number continues to increase.
"The model has broad applicability and can be adapted so that other taxa understand the responses to the ingestion of plastic for other marine taxa of interest."
Last year, researchers at the University of Exeter discovered that more than 1,000 sea turtles die each year from plastic debris in the oceans and on beaches.
The global study said that this figure is "almost certainly a gross underestimate."