ORLANDO, Fla. -- Citing a study about the growing threat to plastics to sea life, SeaWorld announced on Friday that it was going to remove all plastic drinking straws and plastic shopping bags from its 12 theme parks. 

  • SeaWorld says plastics has impacted sea life
  • Sea turtles have been known to eat plastic, causing health problems

"This milestone environmental achievement is a testament to our mission to protect the environment, the ocean and the animals we share our planet with, which are currently threatened by unprecedented amounts of plastic pollution," stated John Reilly, interim chief executive officer for SeaWorld, in a news release.

SeaWorld cited a study from the nonprofit environmental group Ocean Conservancy, which stated that about 8 million metric tons of plastic go into the ocean every year and that does not include the 150 million metric tons that is already on the planet.

And that has an impact on sea life, stated Jon Peterson, manager of rescue operations at SeaWorld Orlando, in the same news release when he mentioned that more than half of sea turtles in the wild eat some form of plastic.

"In fact, just this week, we performed surgery on a rescued sea turtle who became ill from ingesting plastic and other ocean debris," according to Peterson.