Birds inhabit the farthest reaches of the globe
Every year, around 17.6 million pounds of waste are deposited into the ocean. For the species of birds that reside on our shores and oceans plastic pollution is an enormous threat, taking many lives each year. The majority of these deaths are caused by ingestion, where birds eat plastics, as well as the entanglement of birds, which occurs when they are stuck or caught by plastics.
The risk of ingestion
The consumption of plastic poses an imminent threat to marine birds, as it can cause digestive systems that are blocked and impaired kidney and endocrine function often which can lead to death of the bird. Shearwaters, albatrosses storm-petrels, and petrels have an extraordinary sense of smell, which allows them to search for food over vast seas that are open to the elements.
Attracted by the deceiving odors which resemble food scents birds eat plastic pieces — small and large and even re-inject them to feed their offspring. The act of swallowing plastic can distract birds from actual food sources and poses danger to life. birds facts
Risk of Entanglement
String-like plastics like fishing line and netting pose an extremely risk to birds because they wrap around the body parts and limiting movement. They are designed to be transparent in water monofilament line, netting and other lines are a magnet for birds
when employed for fishing, and for many years afterwards if they are removed or tossed into the water. Many species are attracted by thread-like plastics for nesting materials. When nesting this plastic is tangled and could pose a danger to both the birds that are adults and their children.
Reduced plastics to help birds
ABC is working to address the plastic pollution challenge across multiple areas. We’re informing the public as well as removing garbage from bird habitats and promoting smart policies at the at the national and regional levels.
ABC is in favor of legislation that could drastically reduce the amount of plastic that is dumped and is washed into our oceans.ABC and its partners are involved in education and outreach initiatives under the SPLASH programme in Texas which is one of the states that is the most polluted in the United States.
SPLASh also organizes monthly trash clean-ups to aid in the restoration of the habitat of birds in the coastal zone. The information gathered is utilized to create trash management strategies and policies which address the root causes of plastic pollution.