Optima Coffee Ltd 2006/16
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marine environment:
the impact

UK consumers use an estimated 8 billion plastic bags every year. Through careless disposal, plastic bags can be harmful to wildlife, particularly marine mammels and sea birds. They litter the landscape and can take up to a 1,000 years to break down.

Numerous independent scientific studies have shown high concentrations of plastic material, including bags, blocking the guts of 177 marine species, including whales, dolphins, seals, puffins, fulmars and turtles.

Some marine species, such as the endangered leatherback turtle, summer visitor to Scottish waters, mistake plastic bags for their normal prey of jelly fish, with deadly results.

Many marine species are now affected by the minute toxic particles that plastic items, including bags, are reduced to by photodegradation, leading to a weakening of their immune system.
Reusing cotton and jute bags, instead of plastic, is a quick and easy way for consumers and companies alike to show that the environment matters to them.

Plastic bags can have a devastating impact

One of many species affected by plastic bags

Turtles can mistake plastic bags for jelly fish
Bag usage source: WRAP
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