Nearly all seabirds will have ingested plastic by 2050

By Jill Replogle

MIAMI, Florida — Most seabirds have already eaten plastic in the oceans, and scientists projected Monday that 99 percent will have done so by 2050.

Plastics are pervasive in the world’s waters due to pollution, and birds — including albatrosses, penguins and gulls — can mistake brightly colored bottle tops or other fragments for food.

Birds can become sick and die if they ingest too much plastic.

Researchers reviewed studies on 135 bird species between 1962 and 2012, then made projections based on the currently known level of plastics in the oceans.

“For the first time, we have a global prediction of how wide-reaching plastic impacts may be on marine species — and the results are striking,” said Chris Wilcox, senior research scientist at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO).

“We predict, using historical observations, that 90 percent of individual seabirds have eaten plastic. This is a huge amount and really points to the ubiquity of plastic pollution.”

Watch a trailer for the documentary Midway (still in production), about a remote island inhabited by albatrosses, many of whose bodies are filled with plastic.

Research done in the early 1960s showed that, back then, less than five percent of seabirds had ingested plastic.

But that number has soared … continue reading

Via:: Tico Times