Have you ever been to a beach infested with human waste, plastic bottles and trash? Well, this beach is home to marine turtles, fishermen and children… and it's a horrifying sight to see.
Over 100,000 turtles, birds and large ocean animals become trapped in nets and other garbage floating in the oceans, and die from plastic entanglement every year. Plastic harms marine species by causing wounds, skin lesions and ulcers after ingestion, reducing the quality of life and reproductive capacity.
We are The Plastic Punch team, an international team of professionals dedicated to protecting the environment while improving people’s living conditions.
Why did we start this project?
In December 2017, we went for a turtle monitoring session on beaches near Accra, in Ghana, and were hoping to see these beautiful animals come to shore to nest. We kept wishing to see baby turtles hatch from their eggs and hurry to the water, and had all these mental images of pristine beaches and clear waters.
We had to walk for over 2 hours through a sea of rubbish, plastic bottles and faeces before getting to see the first turtle!
One Ridley turtle had just started nesting and was digging a hole to lay her eggs. But the whole scene was a tragedy because of the thousands of plastic debris and trash surrounding the turtle’s nest. She actually had to keep pushing the plastic away to dig a whole. We started picking up the trash to give her some space, but there was so much of it that we just couldn’t do it alone.
We felt so sad for the turtle, but even more for her babies, starting life on such a dirty beach. They will have to fight against all the plastic and trash, just to survive before reaching the water. And once in the water, they might ingest plastic, mistaking it for food, and die before even becoming adult turtles.
We kept walking on the beach, and saw many dead turtles, who probably died by ingesting too much plastic.
Beyond the tragic sights of these turtle, we also got moved seeing how local communities have to put up with plastic piling up on the coast, and decided to help both turtles and people.
The huge amount of trash got us thinking about the bigger picture: How is this trash affecting the communities, families and children? What is the impact on the people who eat fish caught in this area? How is the rest of the marine wildlife being affected? How can we promote better waste management options to stop people from dumping trash on beaches and oceans?
We need your help to implement our actions!
By donating to this campaign, you will help raise funds for:
1. A campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of plastic for humans and wildlife, and ultimately ban single use plastic in Ghana and neighbouring countries.
2. The organisation of events to explain the dangers of plastics, and promote sustainable income generating alternatives.
3. A thorough beach clean up, which will take place mid March, along the entire stretch of coast where turtles come to nest. The waste collected will be reused and recycled, thus providing income to the local communities and ensuring long term sustainability of the clean up.
4. Turtles conservation work: A team of marine scientists working on the turtles monitoring will be able to conduct more frequent and in depth research on the turtles nesting area. They will be able to create facilities to take care of the eggs before they hatch, therefore ensuring that turtles remain protected in this area. Local communities will also be involved in protecting the nesting sites, and learn how to conduct eco tourism activities.
5. Research to discover more sustainable waste management solutions. The new solutions will be shared with the Government and other Non-Profit Organizations for implementation.
Thanks for helping us protect the beautiful and endangered marine turtles, and for supporting the local communities!
All the funds will go to the Plastic Punch projects and activities.