That iconic Wal-Mart plastic bag, or Winn-Dixie, or Publix, or any other retail outlet bag since nobody asks, “Paper or plastic?” anymore, can be seen on the Alabama beaches every summer with increasing frequency. People carry “stuff” to the beach in them; they use them filled with sand as anchor points for their tents, fishermen carry bait to the surf line in them. Whatever their original purpose was, the reason we see them on the beach is that some people “forget” to take them back when they’re done with them.
Therein lies the problem – some of these bags find their way into the Gulf. OK, so what? The Gulf of Mexico is really big. Well, sea turtles include jellyfish in their diet and from the picture above you can see that those plastic bags may be mistaken for a tasty morsel. If a sea turtle happens to swallow plastic it can block their digestive tract and create a buildup off gasses. That makes them not able to dive for food. They get ill and wash up onto shore, and often die.
This is just one way that human activity is impacting the population of endangered and threatened species, such as all of our sea turtles. PLEASE. if you take a plastic bag onto the beach, or onto a boat in our Alabama waters, remember to take it back off the beach and maybe you will prevent a needless death.