Plastic pollution is everywhere, and as such, is hard for marine life to avoid. More than 600 marine species are impacted by plastic, through ingestion and entanglement. This includes all seven species of turtles who are known for chomping on plastic bags, easily mistaking them for jellyfish. 5 Gyres Executive Director Anna Cummins underscores this problem, “We need to do away with our throw away culture - the bags, bottles, straws and packaging that we all see fouling our communities and oceans.”
5 Gyres spokesturtle, Mae West, agrees. When she was young she got entangled with a plastic milk jug ring around her middle. As she grew, the ring didn’t, and subsequently constricted the shape of her shell. She provides a sad but valuable example of the impact of plastics on marine life. Mae West was adopted by 5 Gyres and now lives in Culver City at the STAR Eco Station, where she is visited by school children learning about the impact of plastics on our environment, and of course, 5 Gyres staff who drop in for a hello every now and then.
Today, May 23rd, happens to be a great day for Mae West and turtles everywhere - it’s World Turtle Day! Join 5 Gyres as we celebrate World Turtle Day with our partner, LunchSkins, bringing attention to the plight of turtles and encouraging people everywhere to take steps to reduce plastic waste and help turtles survive and thrive.
If you aren’t familiar with this environmentally conscious company, LunchSkins is a women-owned brand that has created a popular replacement for single-use plastic bags. Just one LunchSkins reusable bag replaces 500 throw-away plastic baggies. What started with a few moms as a way to reduce waste in their local schools has now grown into a collaboration of many people around the world committed to finding sustainable solutions for the fast-growing issue of ocean plastic pollution.
This year, LunchSkins designed a special bag with a turtle motif that will raise funds for 5 Gyres, as well as the Sea Turtle Conservancy. “We created our LunchSkins brand as a smart, sustainable solution to disposable plastic bags and as an example of how a socially responsible company can give back and guide the daily choices that impact our environment, our health and our future,” says LunchSkins Founder/CEO Kirsten Quigley.
5 Gyres is glad to partner with LunchSkins and celebrate Mae West’s big day! Happy World Turtle Day everyone!