The Price of Plastic - For One Turtle


Valletta, Malta: a turtle struggles to eat what looks like plastic waste

After watching so many documentaries over the past few years about the utter catastrophe that plastic has caused to our environment, it was disturbing to see this turtle attempting to eat what we think was plastic.

We spotted it when we were walking walking along the sea front in the capital of Malta, Valletta (along Xatt Pinto - the Valletta Waterfront, near The Grand Harbour), in early October 2018. At one point, it dived down after dropping the plastic, bringing it back up in its mouth, before continuing to try to swallow it.

With ugly ironic timing, the day we saw this, the world's leading climate scientists released a much-discussed report warning that we probably have just 12 years to limit the effects of human-made climate change to a maximum of 1.5C. See, for example, this Guardian report.

Further information on the report is on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change website.

Video © Paul Wheatley

A close up of the turtle trying to eat the plastic waste (Picture © Paul Wheatley)

It was impossible to say how long the turtle had been trying to eat the plastic (Picture © Paul Wheatley)

Cruise ship, Malta's Grand Harbour, not far from the struggling turtle (Picture © Paul Wheatley)

Xatt Pinto - the Valletta Waterfront, Malta (Picture © Paul Wheatley)