Friday, 17 June 2011

Birds have their fill of plastic

Anyone who's walked along a beach in a remote area will be appalled by the amount of washed up plastic and other debris you find.

At our local beach people often leave behind plastic buckets, balls, plastic shoes and other rubbish and if the council beach cleaners don't collect it, where does it end up?

Birds Australia have been highlighted the problem of plastic waste on Lord Howe Island where researchers have found that 95% of Flesh-footed Shearwaters have large amounts of plastics in their digestive systems. Plastic breaks down, but then it can be mistaken for food by the birds. To make matters worse the adult birds feed their chicks with the plastic bits.

A recent report in The Age makes you realise that the plastic you throw out today, or the stuff left behind on the beach may end up in the ocean and eventually find its way into the stomachs of vulnerable seabirds as well as fish and animals such as turtles.

Just take a look at this graphic photo, taken by photographer Chris Jordan on Midway Atoll, of a dead seabird with its stomach full of plastic.

The Australian government has information on its Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities website about the whole marine debris problem and what is being done.

No comments: