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How Your Plastic is Killing Seabirds

Why should you sell plastic online? Because this plastic is killing seabirds, around the globe.

We at Junkart can point to the amount of money you can get from selling it. Or we can point to the massive environmental cost of plastic waste. But we know that these things do not affect you. So instead, we turn to something which will make you understand the magnitude of what we are doing to the environment, and to the animals whch live with us.

(Image by:duncangeoghegan via Pixabay)

Plastic in the Stomach

A 2015 study which reviewed past scientific reports of plastic waste found in the stomach of seabirds found a startling increase; in 1960, less than 5% of seabirds were found to have plastic in their stomachs. In 2010, this had ballooned up to 80%. This study also found that birds off the Australian coast had close to 8% of their body weight in plastic; this is particularly scary, as most plastic is designed to be lightweight. Like this:

members of our research team have previously found nearly 200 pieces of plastic in a single seabird. These items include a wide range of things most of us would recognise: bags, bottle caps, bits of balloons, cigarette lighters, even toothbrushes and plastic toys.

Why do they eat it, you may ask? Another research study, published in 2016, found that this was because on decomposition in seawater, plastic-the types which go into the making of bottles, caps & toothbrushes-gives off a smell similar to that of the food which these birds eat from the oceans.

Plastic Kills The Children

This has serious ill-effects; BBC's Blue Planet series found that albatross chicks living off the coasts of Antarctica were being fed plastic by their parents, sometimes killing them. Another species, the fulmars, are suspected to not be able to breed because of their continued ingestion of plastics.

In Australia, a similar threat has been found to hang over short-tailed shearwaters. These birds migrate over close to 10,000 kilometres, from the Bering Sea near Alaska, to Australia. But the birds, which come to Australia to nest, often eat plastic themselves or feed it to their young, putting all of them under danger.

If that was not enough for you, a 2017 study-focusing on seabird colonies in Russia, Greenland, Iceland, Scandinavia, among other countries-found that at least 74% of the birds they studied, from a total of 34 species, had ingested plastic.

How Can You Help The Seabirds?

But you will ask, what is the connection between these poor seabirds, and your decision to sell plastic online?
The plastic which you carelessly dispose of, finds its way into one of two things: the over-flowing garbage dumps, or the much-ignored sewers/rivers (can anyone tell the difference now?). With the rivers ending at the far-away seas & oceans, we assume that out of sight is out of concern. All this while our plastic waste constantly fills up our oceans, killing even those birds which keep away from the polluted land.