The plastic plight of the albatross
documentary follows internationally acclaimed artist Chris Jordan to investigate an environmental tragedy in this remote Pacific paradise: tens of thousands of albatrosses lie dead on the ground, bodies filled with plastic from the Pacific Garbage Patch – See more at: http://pacificvoyagers.org/midway-atoll-the-plastic-plight-of-the-albatross#sthash.piwDQtlm.dpuf
Of the 500,000 albatross chicks born here each year, about 200,000 die, mostly from dehydration or starvation. A two-year study funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency showed that chicks that died from those causes had twice as much plastic in their stomachs as those that died for other reasons. Albatross scour the ocean surface for sustenance, finding all manner of plastic debris, bottle caps, lighters, combs, and minuscule photodegradated (broken down by the sun) pieces of plastic that can be mistaken for food. Hence, the birds swallow the junk, that perforates their stomach or blocks their esophagus or gizzard, leading to inability to eat, often leading to death.