Dozens of plastic objects extracted from the stomach of an albatross

Hawaii - The image of a mosaic of colored plastic waste has made the front of a magazine denouncing the effects of plastic on the environment and human health. Surprisingly, all these parts, bottle caps to toothbrushes, are objects found in the stomach of a young Laysan albatross which was found dead.

Adult albatrosses fly hundreds of miles in search of food for their young and often bring back the plastic "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" by mistake. Discovered by the California sailor Charles Moore in 1997, this area is a vast marine garbage from 7 million tonnes of rubbish collected by the ocean currents between Hawaii and California. It is incredibly difficult to clean because the floating objects are not collected in a single block.

Suzanne Frazer, an environmental activist, organizes beach cleanups on the Big Island of Hawaii. She said: "The common objects are found in hundreds of thousands of small dead albatross, including caps, lighters, toys, toothbrushes and combs. Albatrosses ingesting these objects have injuries, suffering from dehydration or starve.

John Klavitter, a biologist living in the surroundings of Midway Atoll, explains that albatrosses can survive with a few grams of plastic in their stomachs, but this material is very light, sometimes a few grams correspond to a volume capable of occupying very quickly one-third of the stomach. "This is 30% less food than the small can ingest" he says.

The production of plastics increased by approximately 9% per year and exceed 300 million tons in 2010. Approximately 80% of debris from the ocean comes from land and 10% are made of fishing nets and cargo losses.

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