Ausmepa Home » Students » Student research » Marine Stormwater Pollution » What is the marine problem? » Ingestion of plastic

Ingestion of plastic

The harmful effects of plastic and litter on marine wildlife. 

When whales are washed up on a beach and die, vets and researchers check out the cause of their death. Sometimes the cause of death is the ingestion of large amounts of plastic, blocking their digestive system. Plastic bags, balloons and sweet wrappers are some of the litter items that marine animals confuse as food.

Other animals at risk are:

  • 56 species of Australian seabirds confuse some plastics with fish eggs.
  • Turtles confuse floating plastic bags with the jellyfish they eat.
  • Some sharks have been found to have stomachs packed with all kinds of litter.

It is claimed that Australians allow 50 million plastic bags to become litter. What can you do to reduce plastic bags getting into the sea?

Click here to see the harmful effects of plastic and litter on marine wildlife.

Our Sponsors

A big thank you to all our kind sponsors, without you our work would not be possible.

View All