American scientists have studied how great the threat of plastics is to birds from the “Great Pacific garbage patch”. This vast concentration of waste is formed by ocean currents, with a total of more than 3.5 million tons of waste!
In recent years, the amount of plastic in the digestive tracts of sea birds has increased significantly. Nearly 60% of all tested species to date have had plastic fragments in their intestines. Experts predict that by 2050, the number will rise to 99%.
Albatrosses swallow a surprising amount of waste. The waste includes plastic caps, pieces of plastic bags, pieces of metal, small toys, lighters and even toothbrushes! In the stomach of one bird, as many as 200 pieces of plastic were found! They don’t eat it on purpose. They just mistake the garbage for their dinner and when hunting for fish, they accidentally swallow the waste. The animals die slowly, in pain, often because of hunger or as a result of being poisoned by toxic substances. If the density of garbage per cubic foot decreases, there is a chance that the frightening statistics will finally improve. A good solution is a more sensible system of waste management. But will anything change? We’ll see in a few years.