Birds' stomachs too full of plastic to eat

A BBC team made a worrying film about the devastating impact plastic pollution is having on seabirds in the Tasman Sea near Australia. The team was working on the remote Lord Howe Island for a documentary called "Drowning in Plastic". They filmed many birds that had died because their stomachs were full of plastic. The birds starved to death. There there was no room in their stomachs for food. The team filmed marine biologists working to try and save the birds. The scientists captured hundreds of chicks and removed plastic from their stomachs to give them a chance of survival.

A marine biologist explained what was happening. She said the birds were predators that eat anything. She said: "They have no ability to detect…non-plastic, so they eat it." Adult birds feed the plastic to their chicks, not knowing what they are feeding them. The biologist said most of the plastic is "entirely preventable". She said much of the plastic could easily be swapped for other materials, such as aluminium or wood. She said: "My own toothbrush is made of bamboo." A BBC TV presenter said: "We saw…90 pieces of plastic come out of one of the chicks."