Many marine animals inadvertently ingest ocean plastic pollution. Sometimes this is because the plastic pieces are mistaken for food, alternatively it may be because the animal has no choice but to consume them because of the huge concentrations that are in the water.
Once ingested the plastic pieces can cause blockage in the intestines of the animals which can result in an agonising death through starvation. Even if the animal does somehow manage to survive its quality of life is inevitably diminished. It will struggle to catch food, or escape predators and there is always a possibility that toxins in the plastic will enter the animal’s body, increasing its overall suffering