Sunday Sketch: The Dolphin Digestive Tract Debris Dilemma

A recent study found plastic debris in the digestive tracts of 50 dolphins, whales, and seals. Surprisingly, a large amount of the trash came from synthetic fibers (found in clothing, fishing nets, and toothbrushes), while the rest were from plastic fragments. Keep in mind that plastic pollution affects many other marine organisms, as well.
Therefore, in honor of Earth Day 2019, let’s think about some ways that we can help the earth and its inhabitants every day! For starters, we can replace common single-use plastic items with more sustainable options. Additionally, we can get involved in beach clean-ups. This new research also provides evidence that we should start thinking about our use of synthetic fibers. Can you think of any other ways to help save the environment?

Sketch contributed by Karli Chudeau and fact/alliterative title contributed by Lindsey Broadus

Source: Nelms, S. E., Barnett, J., Brownlow, A., Davison, N. J., Deaville, R., Galloway, T. S., Lindeque, P.K., Santillo, D., & Godley, B. J. (2019). Microplastics in marine mammals stranded around the British coast: ubiquitous but transitory? Scientific Reports, 9(1), 1075. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-37428-3

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