Kochi: Plastic waste found in sea turtle given as game prizes

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Pieces of laminated plastic waste that came from a dead green sea turtle are displayed in Muroto, Kochi Prefecture.

MUROTO, Kochi — With plastic waste having a negative impact on marine life, an aquarium in Shikoku added plastic waste found in the carcass of a sea turtle to the prizes of a game installed in the facility.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A sea turtle at Muroto Scoolhouse Aquarium

The Muroto Schoolhouse Aquarium was established on the site of a former school in Muroto, Kochi Prefecture, and aims to encourage visitors to think about the global marine waste problem as something close to themselves.

The aquarium laminated 30 pieces of waste, including pieces of shopping bags and food partition sheets for lunch boxes, all of which were found in the carcass of a green sea turtle that drowned. The pieces of waste were offered as prizes for winning a bowling-like game that the aquarium holds on weekends and holidays. The usual prizes include stuffed fish toys.

Since last January, the aquarium has continued to emphasize the seriousness of marine waste by displaying lures and plastic bags found in the ocean in tanks, reproducing the conditions under which they were found. The aquarium warns visitors that plastic waste has often been found inside green sea turtles over the last 10 years. It also reminds visitors that even if the sea turtles excrete the plastic, it can still harm other fish.