The Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town has joined the movement fighting to stop the usage of plastic bags.
Sunday, marks international plastic bag free day.
Through its “Rethink the Bag Campaign” the Aquarium raises awareness about environmental dangers plastic bags create.
The Two Oceans Aquariums is home to thousands of marine species.
It has joined forces with other organisations to raise awareness about the harm plastic can inflict on the marine life.
It’s believed South African consumers use about 8 billion shopping bags a year.
Hayley McLellan, an animal behaviourist at Cape Town’s Two Oceans Aquarium says, “Ocean creatures will often view plastic as food. So let’s use a turtle for example, plastic shopping bags that can float in ocean can look like a jelly fish and to a turtle a jelly fish is their main source of diet. When they swallow a plastic bag they can actually regurgitate it.”
As part of its efforts, the aquarium is educating visitors to the centre about the dangers of plastic.
“If you throw a plastic into an oceans or rivers, the fish can swallow it and then the plastic can damage their stomachs and they might get sick and die.”
The Two Oceans Aquarium says research shows more than 90% of plastic shopping bags end up in landfill and threaten the lives of marine and terrestrial animals.
It says 80% of all marine litter is plastic.