Many of you are making the decision to buy organic because you know the environmental benefits… better water quality, healthier soils, less toxins in our bodies. But did you know that buying organic can also save turtles? Here’s how:
In conventional, non-organic banana plantations, growers cover the bananas with large blue plastic bags to ensure that the fruit ripens in a uniform way. When the bananas are ready to harvest, the bags are cut down and left on the ground while the bananas are taken to market.
When the rains inevitably follow, the blue bags are carried from the plantation through canals and to the sea. Bearing a strong resemblance to jellyfish, the sea turtles primary food source, the bags are often mistakenly ingested by turtles. Unable to digest the bags, the turtles die as a result of eating them.
Plastic in our oceans is not a problem only for sea turtles – virtually every marine aquatic and bird species has been harmed by some form of floating plastic in the ocean. Birds, whales, dolphins and fish have all been harmed and killed by inadvertently eating plastic debris.
What can we do to save the animals from death by plastic? We can minimize our use of plastic and avoid products that cannot be recycled. We can “pre-cycle” by selecting packaged foods that, instead of plastic, come in cardboard containers. We can choose wooden toys instead of plastic, use paper bags for groceries (or better yet, bring our own!), use refillable water bottles, and – of course – buy organic bananas.