National Geographic Issue ‘Planet or Plastic’ Vividly Illustrates the Dangers of Discarded Plastic (Photos)

Image credits: John Cancalosi/ National Geographic

*We think we’re doing a good thing when we drop our used plastic in the recycle bin. And we are. But the sad thing is even with that, eventually, that plastic ends up in our drainage systems; which eventually find its way out to our landfills and oceans.

You probably see where I’m going with this, right?

National Geographic magazine has created the initiative, ‘Planet or Plastic’ — by way of its latest issue (June 2018). The pictorial offers a series of breathtaking images captured by photographers that vividly illustrate the devastating effects of tons of plastic waste in our environment each year.

The stork pictured above was freed from a plastic bag at a landfill in Spain by the photographer.

Image credits: National Geographic

We all feel a little guilty when throwing plastic straight into the trash, knowing that we are contributing to a problem that is too vast for us to truly comprehend

These powerful and heartbreaking images vividly illustrate the damage that 9 million tonnes of plastic waste each year does to our environment and wildlife

Pictured above…?An old plastic fishing net snares a loggerhead turtle in the Mediterranean off Spain. The turtle could stretch its neck above water to breathe but would have died had the photographer not freed it. ?Ghost fishing? by derelict gear is a big threat to sea turtles?

Image credits: Justin Hofman/ National Geographic

Pictured above…?To ride currents, seahorses clutch drifting seagrass or other natural debris. In the polluted waters off the Indonesian island of Sumbawa, this seahorse latched onto a plastic cotton swab??a photo I wish didn?t exist,? says photographer Justin Hofman?

Image credits: Shawn Miller

Pictured above…?On Okinawa, Japan, a hermit crab resorts to a plastic bottle cap to protect its soft abdomen. Beach-goers collect the shells the crabs normally use, and they leave trash behind?

?Some 700 species of marine animals have been reported so far to have eaten or become entangled in plastic?–NatGeo

Image credits: David Higgins/ National Geographic

?Around the world, nearly a million plastic beverage bottles are sold every minute?

So we’ve seen a handful of the photos and realize the devastation.

Now what can we do?

National Geographic magazine has stepped up. They no longer mail their magazines out in plastic wrap, but have switched to using paper instead. Read more, see more breathtaking photos, and take the pledge to be more plastic-conscious here 

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