We all hear that plastic is posing a problem for marine life, but unless you see actually see the severity of the problem, it’s easy to keep it out of sight, out of mind.
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Every year, an estimated 18 billion pounds of plastic waste flows into the ocean from coastal regions. That’s the equivalent of five grocery bags sitting on every foot of coastline around the world.
Shocking images by photographer Caroline Power have brought plastic pollution to the forefront in a way that is impossible to ignore.
Power captured the shots at Roatan Island off the coast of Honduras, which was previously home to crystal clear and pristine waters.
In the photos, the waters are inundated with garbage stretching on for nearly eight kilometres, and has completely taken over this formerly pristine island paradise and the marine life that lives there.
Sea turtles, fish, whales, and birds can easily mistake the bits of plastic for food, causing them to choke to death.
These photos are a reminder for people across the globe to live sustainably. Powers says this is a developed nation problem and needs to be solved by improved waste management, environmental education, and recycling facilities.
She is urging people to re-think their habits and avoid using plastic, before more animals and nature fall victim to situations like this one.
Those wishing to help are asked to donate to the Roatan Marine Park, which is a local non-profit conservation organization. The organization focuses on anti-plastic and environmental education programs, to fight plastic pollution and protect marine life.