Careless disposal of plastics can have dire consequences. The six-pack ring, which relieves us of having to juggle six cans at once, can become a deadly noose for a bird or fish. A plastic bag looks like a tasty jellyfish to an indiscriminate feeder like the sea turtle, but plastic is indigestible. It can choke, block the intestines of, or cause infection in those animals that consume it. A plastic bag can also clog an outboard engine's cooling system. Lost or discarded monofilament fishing line can foul propellers, destroying oil seals and lower units on engines, or it can become an entangling web for fish, seabirds, and marine mammals.
According to the Center for Marine Conservation, over 25,000 pieces of fishing line were collected from U.S. beaches during the 1996 annual beach cleanup, and at least 40% of all animal entanglements reported during the cleanups involved fishing line.