From trash bags to party cups, we use and throw away plastic items on a daily basis. If the plastic is properly disposed of, it is recycled or ends up in a landfill. The rest of it can end up in natural habitats, affecting animal and plant life.
Plastic production has steadily risen since the 1950s, as has the concentration of plastics in the ocean. Plastic waste that enters the oceans can be ingested by animals, where it causes a variety of detrimental health effects.
Sadly, the ocean is littered with plastic fragments, reaching concentrations as high as 580,000 pieces per square kilometer. Recent concern has focused on the ingestion of plastics by sea birds, which is extremely common and can result in changes in population growth. Half of all seabird species are currently in decline. Though investigations have explored the influence of coastal pollution on these declining populations, the impact of plastic ingestion has not been explored in detail. Though pollution is thought to be a major cause of ingestion on the coasts, it is rarely considered for ingestion occurring at sea.
» see original post http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/09/seabirds-ingesting-a-staggering-amount-of-plastic/