The Impact of Ocean Plastic | Beluga Whales

The Arctic is one of the most isolated and forbidding places on the planet, but to the beluga whale, the frozen north is home. We still think of the Arctic as a pristine wilderness because the nearest cities are thousands of miles away, but plastic pollution has already infiltrated this crucial food web.

Belugas have an affinity for shallow, coastal waters where they’re more likely to ingest or become entangled in plastic pollution. In fact, a recent study found microplastic in the digestive tracts of all the belugas that were tested. Nearly half of all the plastic found was polyester microfiber, a type of microplastic released when synthetic, plastic-based fabrics are washed.

This is concerning because ocean plastic absorbs chemicals from the surrounding seawater and ingesting causes toxins to build up in animals’ living tissues. While we don’t fully understand how toxic bioaccumulation impacts beluga whales, we do know that it has caused adverse health effects in other cetaceans like orcas and dolphins.

3 simple things you can do to help belugas:

1. Choose organic fabrics over synthetic ones that contribute to the devastating impact of microplastic pollution

2. Avoid toiletries and other products that contain microbeads, a type of microplastic proven to pollute our waterways

3. Wear your Beluga Whale Bracelet as a reminder to say no to single-use plastic and start conversations about the impact of our choices

#4ocean #4oceanbracelets #4oceancleanup #BelugaWhales #Savetheocean #oceanplastic