Stop Filling Seabirds’ Guts With Plastic

seagulls-by-bertknot

Target: United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Goal: Stop the destruction of the oceans and protect the welfare of seabirds whose guts are filling with plastic by enacting an international plan to cut down on and clean up plastic.

Ninety percent of seabirds have plastic in their gut, according to a recent study by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in Hobart, Australia. The study also found that by 2050, almost every ocean-foraging bird could be eating plastic. The study instantly brings to mind the five large “garbage patches” floating around the ocean that have been discussed in recent years, but the study found that the plastic epidemic is affecting birds that don’t even go near these patches.

According to Science Magazine, the global production of plastic has doubled every 11 years or so since the 1950s, and even though only a small percentage ends up in the ocean, it still adds up to about 300,000 tons per year at current production rates. This plastic gets broken up into bite-size pieces and often attracts the birds.

Sometimes the plastic can’t pass through the bird’s body after it eats it, so the plastic pieces build up in the stomach. That buildup can take up so much room that the birds can’t consume enough food to stay alive and healthy.

But birds are not alone in this danger. Over 600 species large and small, from microorganisms to whales, are affected usually by ingestion but sometimes by getting tangled in larger debris. To think that every innocent seabird out there may soon be affected by our plastic consumption is horrible. Something must be done to stop this. Urge officials to stop the destruction of the oceans and protect the welfare of seabirds and other animals by enacting an international plan to cut down on and clean up plastic.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon,

According to a recent study by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in Hobart, Australia, 90 percent of seabirds have plastic in their gut. Another study found that over 600 species are also affected.  The global production of plastic has doubled every 11 years or so since the 1950s, and about 300,000 tons per year ends up in the oceans. The study also found that by 2050, almost every ocean-foraging bird could be eating plastic.

Sometimes the plastic can’t pass through the bird’s body, causing build up in the stomach and taking up too much room for the bird to eat real food to survive. This cannot be happening and we must take dramatic actions to keep this pattern from continuing. I urge you to stop the destruction of the oceans and protect the welfare of seabirds and other animals by enacting an international plan to cut down on and clean up plastic.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Bertknot

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One Comment

  1. Christina Cassandra Jimene says:

    Stop!

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