Alby the Albatross and Plastic, Plastic Everywhere in the Ocean

albatross fledgling & plastic

Albatross chick stomach contents

That picture is not me, thank goodness. My name is Alby the Albatross, and it is nice to meet you. That was an albatross chick who most likely died from eating too much plastic. Hundreds of thousands of dead albatross chicks have been found with at least a third of their stomach full of plastic. Why would an albatross eat plastic? Unfortunately plastic is everywhere in the ocean now, not just in garbage patches. Every type of garbage imaginable makes it to the ocean. Remember what Gill tells Nemo in Finding Nemo? “All drains lead to the ocean, kid,” he said. There is so much garbage in general that remote tropical islands whose sand has only been touched by scuttling crabs and wayward seabirds have garbage engulfing their shores. Plastic is a threat to all ocean life, but the most insidious are the tiny plastic particles that microscopic plankton consume. Small fish eat the plankton and then successively larger fish eat each other until a predator like a shark nabs them. The shark then bioaccumulates, that is stores, all those plastic pieces in its body over time. Even humans carry a few pounds of plastic around in their bodies without knowing it!

The single most important thing you can do to relieve me and my oceanic friends from plastic in the ocean is to:
NOT BUY BOTTLED WATER! Use a reusable water bottle that you fill yourself with tap water, or filtered tap water. We thank you for helping us!

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