Plastic Waste is Putting Endangered Birds at Risk
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is calling for tougher action to address the build-up of plastic in the ocean.
Endangered species of birds are being threatened by the accumulation of rubbish which is washed in from the sea. The problem has become all too obvious at the Medmerry nature reserve on the West Sussex coast. This was created three years ago to act as a flood defence for the region and also to provide a natural habitat for thousands of birds. But the tide relentlessly washes in a huge volume of rubbish which moves across the wetlands and into the birds’ habitat. The plastic is then ingested by the birds.
A Losing Battle
The RSPB is doing everything it can to protect the nature reserve and its inhabitants but they are fighting a losing battle. The rubbish is cleared regularly only for more to wash in on a daily basis and litter the reserve with unsightly and hazardous material.
One local man has certainly had enough of it all. Environmentalist Tim Bevan has been very busy indeed lately. Unpaid, he has managed to collect enough trash to fill around 250 large bin-bags. All of the garbage was picked up in the nature reserve and in just 40 days. It is now stacked at the edge of the beach to remind people of how problematic discarded material can be. But the problem isn’t going to be resolved unless the cause is tackled and the cause is people acting carelessly or negligently.
Recently, a dead whale was found with a stomach full of plastic. The body is a sign of things to come. The visible waste is only the tip of the iceberg. All of the rubbish found at Medmerry is just a tiny proportion of the material that is washing around in the world’s oceans. If the issue isn’t resolved, wildlife will simply starve to death.
Experts predict that by 2050, the volume of the rubbish in the oceans will outweigh that of the fish. Now that is a scary thought! The trouble is, even if the entire population of the UK cleans up its act, which seems unlikely, it is hard to control what is happening in other countries and across the oceans.