In his article “These Birds are Choking on a Plastic Ocean,” journalist Nick Paton Walsh investigates how pollution is affecting the albatross species. Walsh, with the help of a guide, ventured around the remote Midway Island, some 1,500 miles away from any other land. His discoveries were shocking. When he witnessed one of the bird’s being dissected, the bird’s insides were filled with plastic, ranging from bottle caps to a cigarette lighter. The albatross was literally eating our trash. However, the problem went further when Walsh’s guide said, “Every single albatross in this landscape has been fed plastic.”
Walsh states in the article that researchers have concluded that by 2050 the world’s oceans will contain more plastic than fish by weight, which is a crazy thought. For birds like the albatross, the plastic that floats in the ocean looks like food. They see the bright colors and think it’s a meal. However, consuming a cigarette lighter is never nutritious.
Pollution is not a new problem that our world faces; we have been dumping in the ocean for years. But when animals are dying everyday, like the albatross are at Midway Island, the problem becomes much more catastrophic. There is no reason that our waste needs to thrown into the sea; there are much more efficient and sustainable ways to dispose of our trash. And these ways are not up for debate, they already exist and need to be enforced more thoroughly so that these animals do not go extinct.