In 2015, a sea turtle with a straw stuck in its nose took over the internet. It launched a movement to eliminate plastic straws and raised awareness of plastic pollution in the ocean. Did any of it make a difference, or was it just another viral moment of shared but shallow outrage? Let’s see how the sea turtles are doing now.
About eight years ago, on a research trip in Costa Rica, marine biologist Christine Figgener from Texas A&M University found an olive ridley sea turtle with a plastic straw lodged in his nostril. The disturbing video of her team prying the straw out of the turtle’s bloody nose went viral. For the first time, the topic of plastic pollution in the oceans became something anyone could respond to emotionally.
Plastic straws became the focus of attention for many people. Some people gave up using straws. Others searched for alternatives to plastic,…