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1:33 pm | July 13, 2024
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thousands of birds die from plastic pollution every year
Aivee Akther Environmental Problems International Environment

Thousands of birds die from plastic pollution every year

Thousands of birds die from plastic pollution every year


Birds are trapped in plastic waste on every continent except Antarctica. A study on birds has revealed some examples of how the vast amount of plastic thrown away by humans daily poses a severe threat to the world’s biodiversity.

This study was conducted online on plastic waste and its effects on birds. The four-year project titled ‘Birds and Debris’ asked the general public for photos of their locality. In the submitted images, researchers have found birds nesting in plastic or roaming in plastic on all continents except Antarctica. They use plastic ropes, bowstrings, balloons, and ribbons used in fishing nets or discarded plastic sandals to build their nests. They are in plastic traps.

About one percent of the images show a large number of face masks accumulated in bird migration areas, which people have discarded during the two years of the COVID 19 pandemic. There have been pictures of birds making nests with them; mask ribbons stuck around their necks or faces.

Alex Bond, a researcher at the Natural History Museum, London, told the BBC, “Birds that build their nests with long fibrous materials such as seaweed, twigs, or reeds are now more likely to find human waste; in their homes.”

Bond and his colleague aimed to draw attention to the massive plastic waste problem in the environment.

Bond Further said, “If you think about the materials used to make surgical masks, elastic or rubber fibers have been found to stick to birds’ feet. Alternatively, the bird is in danger by swallowing that fiber or piece of plastic. We may be using the term ‘plastic’ generically, but there are many different types of polymers, masks being a good example.”

Moreover, the researchers also want to highlight the procedural problem of removing the large amount of waste accumulated in the environment.

Justine Ammendolia, the lead researcher at Canada’s Dalhousie University, told the BBC that the impact of plastic waste on various species in the world is dire. In April 2020, a sight that went viral on the internet found a bird hanging from a tree in Canada with a mask. It shows how much the world’s people have damaged the environment briefly.

“If we use bamboo toothbrushes or canvas shopping bags, we will not save the world. Because plastic production is now a big industry and business,” Bond added.

According to him, the government has to adopt the right policy from the top position and compel the people to follow it from the bottom. So that people can understand that, enough is enough.

Amendolia, a Ph.D. researcher, said, “Those who see the pictures of the birds for the first time may be a little distressed or shocked. However, people should also learn from the needless suffering these animals have to go through during the COVID 19 pandemic.”

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