Plastics & Wildlife
This is mainly an awareness photo of the impact of leaving trash, especially plastic refuse in areas were it encroaches on wildlife.
Oh poor thing, that's just so sad. When you toss your junk you really don't think about the affect it has on wildlife until you see something like this.
Poor turtle! Seeing things like that makes me so angry. People can be so selfish about where they put stuff. I wish the animals could throw it back on them.
Ocean pollution: Focusing on fragmentation of plastic waste
First discovered by sailors, the masses of plastic debris floating at the center of vast ocean vortices called gyres are today under close scrutiny by scientists. To better understand the fragmentation of microplastics under the effect of light and abrasion by waves, researchers combined physico-chemical analyses with statistical modeling. They were thus able to show that pieces of plastic debris behave in very different ways according to their size. The bigger pieces appear to float flat at the surface of the water, with one face preferentially exposed to sunlight. However, the researchers observed fewer small-sized debris (Around 1 mg) than predicted by the mathematical model. Ref. Source 3e.
First evidence of deep-sea animals ingesting microplastics
Scientists working in the mid-Atlantic and south-west Indian Ocean have found evidence of microfibers ingested by deep sea animals including hermit crabs, squat lobsters and sea cucumbers, revealing for the first time the environmental fallout of microplastic pollution. Ref. Source 6y.
Why do seabirds eat plastic?
If it smells like food, and looks like food, it must be food, right? Not in the case of ocean-faring birds that are sometimes found with bellies full of plastic. But very little research examines why birds make the mistake of eating plastic in the first place. Ref. Source 3p.
On the beach lies a motorcycle helmet, a mannequin's head, an umbrella handle and a flip-flop. They didn't fall from a plane or off a ship, and there aren't any civilians living here who could have left them behind.
They were washed onto Midway Atoll with the tide, most likely part of an enormous plastic garbage patch spinning in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Some of the coffee cup lids, water bottles and bags you discarded are probably in there.
Some 8 million tons of plastic trash leak into the ocean annually, and it's getting worse every year. Some of it kills the birds on the atoll. Some sinks deep into the ocean and can end up in plankton. Some, including the likely carcinogen styrene, gets back to us through the food chain.
"These are the classic 'canary in the coal mine' scenarios," said Matthew Brown with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. Ref. Source 5e.