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Turtle-friendly plastic? A crafty solution to pollution, poaching and poverty


Every year thousands of turtles come ashore along the beaches of the south Pacific coast of Nicaragua to lay their eggs. The female turtles return to the beaches on which they were born to lay an average of 100 ping-pong ball shaped eggs into nest holes dug out of the sand. The beaches in this region are of global importance for nesting turtles, including endangered olive ridley turtles, and critically endangered Pacific leatherback and hawksbill turtles.

Sadly these turtles face some sinister threats at the hands of humans. These include the poaching of turtle eggs by marginalised local communities for income, which significantly threatens turtle populations in the region. Additionally, the prevalence of plastic bags on nesting beaches poses a risk, as these are known to be consumed by, and do harm to, turtles.

Fauna & Flora International (FFI) started working in the region in 2001, and has since developed a turtle conservation programme in order to tackle these threats through a range of strategies. These include community ranger patrols, establishing community hatcheries, awareness raising, and supporting local people to find sustainable sources of income, for example through the Weaving for Nature initiative. This is where our turtle-friendly plastic comes in. MORE

Header image credit: Jorge Martinez/FFI.

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