Why we should be recycling every tiny scrap of plastic…
Chris Jordan’s Heart-Wrenching Photographs
Photographer Chris Jordan specializes in large-scale works that depict the magnitude of our consumerism and its impact on our environment. In one of his most emotional presentations, Jordan shares heart-wrenching images of birds killed by ingesting plastics that increasingly pollute our oceans. Everyone on the planet should watch this!
Why The Midway Island Albatross Are Dying
On Midway Atoll, more than 2400 miles from a large landmass (Alaska) and more than 1000 miles from a city (Honolulu), plastic debris is ubiquitous. That’s because so much of our plastic ends up at sea and finds itself forever looping in the waters of the Pacific. Caught up in the currents of the Pacific Gyre our plastic waste might be eternal, for the coolness and darkness of the waters prevent plastic from disintegrating. The thinner pieces do eventually break down into ever smaller pieces and become deadly to plankton eating fish. Unfortunately the thicker, harder, colorful plastics seem to be a favorite of Albatross parents to feed their young. Albatross spend much time at sea in search of food, one of their staples being flying fish eggs. Flying fish attach their long strings of eggs to objects floating at sea, which are subsequently consumed by the albatross parents and then regurgitated to their chicks.**
Ninety eight percent of Albatross on Midway have plastic in them, and forty percent of all Albatross chicks birthed on Midway Atoll die each year due to ingestion of plastics. The actual causes are usually choking, dehydration or starvation as the plastic leaves little room for water or food. Or death from toxicity, such as when a chick is fed a cigarette lighter, which is often. John Klavitter, a wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, calculates that albatross feed their chicks about 5 tons of plastic a year at Midway.*
* “Plague of Plastic Chokes the Seas” LA Times
** Fish and Wildlife Service “The Plastic Problem on Midway Atoll”