This is a picture of a sea turtle nearly cut in half by plastic. His body has literally grown around it. This is what's happening with our plastic products nowadays - they're wreaking havoc in the sea, on land, and everywhere, and not just to animals, but to us as well.
This is from a great article called 'Plastic Ocean' in Best Life Magazine. Plastic never goes away. Every ounce we manufacture is here to stay. And recycling doesn't even help much since only 3%-5% of plastic is ever recycled, and it's actually much cheaper to make new than to recycle it, and everyone knows our big companies are out to make a buck and not to worry about how they might impact the world.
And there's no telling how it effects our food and our bodies. Studies have linked it to cancer (I know, like everything else, even delicious barbecue char) and even the obesity epidemic. Scary.
So read this article and think about it when you're out shopping. When you make your next purchase take it without a bag. Even more importantly, think about it at the grocery. Think about all the foods that come packaged in plastic, and about what alternatives might exist. Think about the environmental footprint you want to leave behind. Get your produce without the plastic bag. Opt for paper at the check out line. It's actually easy to find products packaged without plastic if you take an extra minute to look, and I think you'll find these products usually are of better quality and taste better. It's worth spending an extra quarter or so.
Also consider what you put into your trash can. Could it someday cause a world of pain and suffering to an animal? Take the time to cut your milk rings, or six-pack rings. One thoughtless toss into the can could change the life of an animal forever. Or in the case of the ocean, can produce more plastic than plankton for the fish to eat. If we're all a tiny bit more aware of how our actions can impact the entire world it'd make a ton of difference.
I'll leave you with this last picture, taken by Gregg Segal, a man who has dedicated his life to spreading the word about what we're doing to our oceans and animals. Our seabirds are eating things like lighters, tampon applicators, and bottle caps, and each and every one of us is partly to blame.