Although Moore doesn’t permit any types of pollution being in the ocean, she does mention that some plastics are less harmful to the turtles than others.
“If it’s a very small piece of plastic, it is likely to pass through their digestive system without anything happening to them. The dose is the poison. It really depends how much they’re ingesting. The concentration of micro-plastics that they do ingest depends on how they’re impacted. It’s really tough to say because no two plastics are the same” – Rhiannon Moore, Ocean Wise Researcher.
However there are some myths she would like to debunk about ocean plastic.
“People believe plastic can just float,” she said. “That’s just not the case.”
Moore explains that plastics can penetrate far beneath the surface of the ocean, eventually becoming suspended targets for marine life like Leatherbacks.
And as the plastic breaks down it separates into smaller and smaller pieces, never degrading to nothing but instead spreading as smaller fragments that can harm more and more animals.
“The amount of plastic that goes in to the ocean each year is between five million to 12 million metric tonnes,” she said.