Saturday, 31 August 2013

Death Plastics

I found the remains of the dead fulmar earlier on this week. It had died on the ledge just beyond Burnett's Leap and I went down to see if it there was a ring on it. What I saw in amongst the carcass was very disturbing. As the bird has rotten down its stomach contents have become visible and there nestled in amongst the bones were a collection of multi-coloured plastic. Fulmars are particularly prone to picking up pieces of plastic as the feed across the surface of the sea. These pieces either stay in the stomach or worse can be regurgitate for the chick to eat. In this way chicks can end up having an even higher loading of plastic than their parents.

So where is all this plastic coming from? It is coming from all of us. That drinks bottle that you couldn't be bothered to find a bin, that helium balloon that you released to celebrate a birthday. Those are the sort of pieces of plastic that end up in the oceans and are then picked up by seabirds. Over this season we have picked up a couple of thousand plastic bottles washed up on the island, everyone of them should have been recycled. So if you care about the seabirds found around the UK then all plastics should be recycled or disposed of responsibly or better still not purchased in the first place.

1 comment:

  1. We had a trip to Svalbard last year and saw plastic even in remote spots there unfortunately, and our naturalist on board had seen it in polar bear scats too. We need to take a bit more care with our rubbish!