Ocean Crusaders reports that plastic kills 1 million sea birds annually, and that plastic entanglement alone kills an estimated 100,000 marine animals each year. This tracks with the info cultivated by Conserve Turtles, which indicates that more than 1 million marine animals (including birds, fish, sharks, sea turtles, and more) are known to be killed by either ingesting or becoming somehow entangled by plastic pollution.
These numbers aren’t exact, of course, but considering that there are 51 trillion pieces of plastic floating in the oceans alone, it means that untold millions of animals very likely meet their end as a result of our callousness.
To reiterate, plastic doesn’t just kill dolphins and sea turtles — it kills fish, crabs, coral, krill, and endless other marine species. It isn’t only soda can rings, straws, and crushed bottles either. Plastic wrap, disposable shopping bags, and old Ziploc storage bags are the ultimate “clear and present danger” of the Seven Seas. The unseen plastics are just as responsible as the rest. Microplastics account for untold amounts of animal deaths and these tiny plastic bits can’t even be seen by the naked eye.