I absolutely hate plastic bags and always try to pick up stray ones that I find for proper disposal. However, there are certain things for which I can't figure out how to live without them. I can use cloth bags for groceries, but what do I do for trash? And do paper bags help or just hurt because they come from trees.
I'm thinking that the danger to marine life is from those random bags that lie in the streets and get swept into our storm systems. But there sure is a lot of them.
This a sad story of a minke whale in 2002 who died a lingering death from all the plastic bags in her stomach.
The minke was found on the Normandy coast. At first, it was assumed she had died of natural causes.
When her stomach was cut open, scientists were amazed to find nearly two pounds of plastic bags, eaten by mistake as she searched for food.
The 2lb haul included two plastic bags from English supermarkets, seven transparent plastic bags, and fragments from seven dustbin bags.
In an ironic twist, one of the bags found in the gut of the dead whale appears to read: "We support good farm animal welfare."
Most worrying of all, there was no proper food in her stomach.
Minkes are among the smallest of the whales and the fastest moving. They can be seen swimming off the coasts of Scotland, Ireland and the South West.
These plastic bags also threaten other whales, dolphins and turtles who mistakenly consume them.
Photo by gooseflesh.