Turtles confuse plastic items bobbing and fluttering about in the ocean currents for jellyfish or other prey.
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Gently, Kenzo the sea turtle is lowered onto a beach where a scattering of bottle caps, candy wrappers, yoghurt cups and discarded flip-flops scar an otherwise idyllic setting.With a final gulp of air, the hawksbill turtle executes a perfect butterfly stroke and disappears into deeper water – a rare lucky escape for one of Kenya's sea turtles, increasingly under siege from humanity's plastic binge."Or they are in such pain that they recognize that they have to stop eating and they basically starve," he told AFP at Watamu's Blue Lagoon as he repeatedly bent down to pick up one piece of beach litter after the other.Many turtles are found floating, barely alive, having eaten so much plastic that they become buoyant and can no longer dive into the depths where they live and feed.According to environmental group the World Wildlife Fund, 8.8 million tons of plastic enters the ocean every year, the equivalent of a garbage truck dumping a full load every minute.In July, U.S. researchers said more than 9.1 billion tons of plastic had been produced to date, most of it dumped into landfills and the oceans.For six days now, no plastic has been spotted in the turtle's stool, Changawa says with tangible relief.
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