14 Heartbreaking Photos That Will Inspire You to Recycle

Global pollution has reached unprecedented levels as the trash produced by the more than 7 billion people pollutes the land and sea around the world. All too often, our waste takes on a life of its own after we toss it in the trash without another thought. Animals get tangled up in our trash or mistakenly ingest it, often resulting in death.


Add to that the effect our polluting activities have on humans and other species and you begin to realize the massive global impact we human beings have. Luckily, there are lots of people out there working to create a better world.

Here are 14 photos that capture the heartbreaking impact of worldwide pollution:

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Stork trapped in a plastic bag. Photo credit: Unknown

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"599634","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"360","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"480"}}]]

Albatross killed by excessive plastic ingestion in Midway Islands. Photo credit: Population Speak Out

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"599635","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"320","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"480"}}]]

A bird is coated in oil from a nearby spill. Photo credit: Unknown

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"599636","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"320","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"480"}}]]

Penguins covered in oil. Photo credit: John Hrusa

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"599637","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"340","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"480"}}]]

Surfing on a wave full of trash off the coast of Java, Indonesia. Photo credit: Population Speak Out

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"599638","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"360","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"480"}}]]

A seal with his nose stuck on a piece of plastic. Photo credit: Unknown

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"599639","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"320","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"480"}}]]

This boy spends each morning looking for recyclable plastic to sell to help support his family. Photo credit: George Steinmetz

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"599647","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"320","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"480"}}]]

Landscape full of trash in Bangladesh. Photo credit: Population Speak Out

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"599645","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"320","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"480"}}]]

Boy swims in polluted water in India. Photo credit: Green Atom

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"599640","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"316","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"480"}}]]

Fake Hong Kong skyline for tourists because the actual one is so polluted. Photo credit: Molly Smith

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"599641","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"480","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"319"}}]]

A seal’s neck was sliced by trash. Photo credit: Ares Caius

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"599642","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"287","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"480"}}]]

A bird is covered from an oil spill. Photo credit: Charlie Riedel

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"599643","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"340","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"480"}}]]

A turtle is stuck in a piece of plastic. Photo credit: Unknown

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"599644","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"308","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"480"}}]]

A tortoise is trapped by a piece of plastic. Photo credit: Unknown

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