Lord Howe Island! A paradise island affected by plastic.
It was and still is a dream destination.
Though the dream is a bit shattered after seeing how the flesh-footed sheerwater populationis dwindling due to marine plastic being mistaken for food.
Lord Howe Island is a World Heritage Site in the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand. In the middle of nowhere, plastic pollution is threatening this on the surface at least pristine island. Famous for its forests, with many plants and animals found nowhere else in the world.
When the flesh-footed sheerwater dives for fish the plastic looks like small fish. The birds are generalist predators and they eat anything that they found. A lack of pikiness is what has allowed these birds to thrive. The birds cannot distinguish between plastic items and non-plastic so they eat them. Then they feed their chicks the plastic.
When the chicks try to fly from the island their stomach is filled with plastic which make them too heavy to fly. naturally, the chicks are weak from lack of nutrients. Heartbreaking!
Solutions to stop not only plastic waste getting into the rivers and ending up in the sea but also for new biodegradable packaging materials is desperately needed! But we can all of us contribute by saying no to plastic. How do you say no?
Photo: By Brian Gratwicke – originally posted to Flickr as Westland Petrel, Procellaria westlandica, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9057097