Why 98% Of Laysan Albatross Chicks Are Fed Plastic

Plastics are killing Laysan Albatross Chicks! 


Did you know why the Laysan Albatross is considered an incredible bird? Apart from being the largest sea birds they can soar vast distances without flapping their wings and go for years without touching land. 


Isn’t it a waste if we lose this amazing seabird? Unfortunately, we are slowly killing these Laysan Albatross Chicks, I'll let you in on a little secret — the main reason why you see plastic floating around in the ocean is due to human activity. Specifically, we're talking about the plastic that's lost during storms and lee-way through landfills. And more often than not, it ends up in our oceans by way of ships and boats dumping into open water.


It is another deep blue sea tragedy, with millions of sea creatures killed every year by plastic waste. This time the Laysan Albatross Chick isn't just any victim of a tragedy, it's our contemporary loss. The Albatross chicks are left helpless as their mothers try to eat garbage that ends up in their bellies. Plastic, which we humans put in the ocean, has now come back to life and is affecting these young animals.

Many birds accidentally eat plastic and other marine debris floating in the ocean, mistaking it for food. But the problem is intensified in Laysan albatrosses because of the way they catch fish, squid and other seafood: by skimming the surface of the water with their beak. Along the way, they accidentally pick up a lot of floating plastic, which they then feed to their chicks. Adults can regurgitate plastic they’ve swallowed, but chicks are unable to, so it fills up their stomachs.


Have you ever considered how much plastic ends up in the ocean and floating around our planet? The answer is shocking: From 600 million tons to More than 12 billion tons. As if that wasn’t enough,1 ton of plastic is buried in the world’s oceans every minute.


Imagine if these plastics are consumed by Laysan Albatross Chicks, how tragic it will be? And even knowing the fact that it will put Layan Albatross and other sea creatures to danger, why are people still consuming it? 


So these are reasons why is there plastic in the ocean and can be possibly eaten by these  Laysan Albatross Chicks:

  1. People make lots of plastics

The demand for cheap materials is undeniable and plastic is considered to be the easiest way to provide it. It’s a real challenge to go through a day without using any plastics because as soon as you wake up when having a coffee, packing your things or taking a walk, or jogging in a park you’ll notice packaging of different products everywhere. So even though you have replaced most of your products with eco-friendly materials there will come this point in your life that you have no choice but to use plastic products for most of the necessities for your home are packaged in plastic. So, creating lots of plastic for convenience will show why is there so much plastic in the ocean.


  • Constantly use plastic packaging only once. 
  • Are you one of those people who constantly use non-reusable packaging? Perhaps when in a coffee shop or food chain are you still using straws or any plastic materials? Even when you are going shopping or for groceries, don't you bring an eco-bag and still ask for a plastic bag to carry the items you bought? Then you are one of the reasons why capitalists still continue to provide plastic items and use them as packaging. Do you know the reason why single use plastics are bad? Well, the trash collected in the sea operation is plastic packaging and it’s estimated into 14% of plastic bags, 12% of plastic bottles, 9% of plastic food containers and cutlery, and 9% of wrappers. This trash is the main reason why plastic ends up in the ocean. As we know capitalists continuously make this for two reasons: first, it’s inexpensive yet durable and people constantly consume it. If we just limit its usage then the production will be lessened. 


  • Plastic waste can be carried by the wind and rainwater. 
  • As the majority knows, if you don’t dispose of your trash properly or just put it in the streets there’s a huge possibility that it will end up in the river or eventually in the ocean. So now the question is how do plastics end up in the ocean? Well, It can be carried by the wind and rainwater, and we know the huge effect of sea pollution on the environment as well as on the Albatross as their food is coming from the ocean, specifically fish, squid and other seafood that is on the surface. So, why do albatross eat plastic? Adult albatross eat by skimming the surface of the water with their beak, mistaking plastic for fish or seafood. They then fly back to the nesting colonies to feed their young, and regurgitate the food into their chick. Approximately one-third of the albatross chicks die every year because of plastic ingestion.

    These are the common ways how plastics ended up in the ocean: 

  • Litter. As said above, if you carelessly dispose of your packaging or any plastic materials in the street, seashores, or beaches it can be blown into rivers. That's how plastic bags end up in the ocean. So this is the common trash seen in the ocean: bottles, and food packaging. 
  • Landfill. These are piles of trash in the open dams that can be blown into the sea or worse intentionally disposed of in the sea. 
  • Down the plughole. These are wet wipes, microbeads in toothpaste, and synthetic clothing fibres that are shed in the washing machine that will end up flowing into the ocean. 

    We make stuff that we can’t and don’t recycle. 

    The lifespan of plastic is undeniably long for it taking so much time for it to decompose. Since most plastic is made from a nonrenewable resource causing pollution, this puts sea creatures as well as seabirds in danger such as Laysan Albatross chicks. So why don't we stop using plastic despite the fact that it can’t be recycled? Humans believe that it makes daily lives easier without considering it has a huge effect on the long-term and like albatross feeding chicks plastic. However, if people will realize what Materials You Should Not Recycle & What To Do Instead there’s a possibility that it will lessen the trash in the ocean. As you know only 9% of plastic packaging is collected to be recycled. 


    Our system is designed around plastics. 

    Why does plastic exist? Of course, this world is full of instant things, providing necessities in the most convenient ways and plastic is one of the main materials that will make people’s daily life easier. As plastic can provide many perks from the capitalist to consumers.  These are some:

    • Light for transportation. 
    • Extends the shelf life of food. 
    • Most of the system is designed to be dependent on plastic. 

    These benefits answer why we don't stop using plastic despite its harm and encourage people to use it more. However, you have to think now in the Long term. You should ask yourself what will be the future of the Laysan albatross and what will happen to their population if they continuously accidentally eat plastic in the ocean. 


    So this is how we can fix it!

    • Dispose of your waste properly no matter where you are. 
    • Reduce the leaks so you can control where the plastics are going. 
    • Find ways to provide the same service without plastic products and if it isn’t possible, make plastics that nature can break down with natural and renewable resources and sustainable energy. 
    • Refuse to use single-use packaging every day. 
      • Avoid using straws, plates, or any disposable utensils 
      • Replace your plastic Tupperware with glass or stainless containers
      • Try to use wooden utensils instead of plastic ones

    So the reason why the Laysan Albatross chicks are fed plastic is because of the overuse of plastic and the way the Albatross skims the ocean surface for food to regurgitate for their chicks. Cut back on your plastic use and start living a plastic-free life to save our oceans and wildlife!