5-speed listening (Balloons - Level 4)

Balloons deadliest plastic for seabirds






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Scientists found what plastic is most harmful to seabirds. Marine and Antarctic studies researchers discovered that balloons were deadliest. They said balloons were 32 times likelier to kill seabirds than hard plastics. Balloons and soft plastics accounted for 5 per cent of plastics ingested, but were responsible for over 40 per cent of seabird deaths. Researchers said hard plastic can pass quickly through the bird, but balloons can get blocked and kill birds.

The study looked at 1,733 dead seabirds. Over a quarter of them died because of the growing threat of plastic. A researcher said: "Marine debris ingestion is now a globally recognized threat....We suggest that [fewer] balloons and balloon fragments in the ocean would directly reduce seabird mortalities." There is 280,000 tons of marine debris worldwide. About half of seabirds eat plastic daily. Seabirds think balloons look like squid.

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