A shocking new video shows a seal stranded in a rock pool and struggling to swim – because it is surrounded by plastic.
The upsetting footage shot in the UK shows a baby seal being bombarded with plastic bottles and trash as waves crash against him.
The Cornish Seal Sanctuary, who released the video, say they have treated five pups which were tangled in plastic so far this year, and rehabilitated a total of 79 baby seals.
The charity also released pictures of a grey seal pup found on another Cornish beach with netting wrapped around his neck.
Staff said his injuries seemed superficial when he first arrived, but after a week of recovering at the sanctuary, a large wound began to reveal itself and open up around his neck.
The team had to clean his wound twice a day and he was put on a course of antibiotics in order to help keep any infections away.
Thankfully, the pup, named GI Joe by charity workers, was able to be released back into the wild after making a full recovery.
While staff were able to rehabilitate all five pups they found caught in plastic, many other wild seals and marine animals suffering due to the rubbish in our oceans will not be so lucky.
Alexandra Pearce, the fundraiser and conservation co-ordinator for the sanctuary, said: “When you’ve had a long day on the beach, it can be quite tempting to simply leave your barbecue, body boards and food wrappers behind, especially if there are no bins or you have a bit of a walk ahead.
“But whilst it might be 15 minutes of inconvenience, by taking your litter home with you, you could be preventing a piece of rubbish ending up in the marine environment where it could stay for hundreds of years, causing lots of damage to wildlife.”
She added: “As Cornwall is coming into a busy few months with lots of people flocking to beaches, we are pleading for the public to take all your litter home with you and dispose of it correctly.
“Reduce, reuse and recycle and pick up litter whenever you can. If we all work together, we can tackle this issue and hopefully we can help to safeguard our environments for the future generation.”