A frightening new discovery has been made off the coast of northern Chile. Near the Atacama Desert, red-legged cormorants have been using plastic to build their nests. This is yet another example of plastic’s harmful influence on our wildlife.

These birds normally use a mix of seaweed, feathers, and guano to build their nest. But because plastic is so readily available in Mejillones Bay, a port town, they’ve been using that. A new paper in the Marine Pollution Bulletin uncovered this problem and described the impact.

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“This could be the most contaminated nesting colony in the world,” said Ana García-Cegarra, a professor of biology at the University of Santo Tomás Antofagasta, “Other studies have found maybe 80 percent of nests in a colony had some plastic content, but all 100 percent of the 151 nests we counted contained plastic.”

The plastic is harmful to animals if birds ingest it and researchers found dead cormorants during their assessments. Birds can get tangled and stuck in the plastic, too.

“Our bad habits in the consumption of plastic are affecting all marine fauna, now reaching bird nests, abyssal pits in the depths of the ocean and even to our table due to the fish or mussels that ingest it,” García-Cegarra said. “We must act now and reduce our plastic consumption.”

Source: Roosters World

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There are products you may be using or habits you may have that contribute to plastic pollution. Learn more about how the use of Teabags, Cotton Swabs, Laundry, Contact Lenses, Glitter, and Sheet Masks pollute our oceans so you can make more informed decisions going forward. There are also numerous simple actions and switches that can help cut plastic out of our lives including, making your own cosmetics, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, household cleaners, using mason jars, reusable bags/bottles/straws, and avoiding microbeads!

Read more One Green Planet news about plastic and marine life, including Birds Living on an Island 2,000 Miles From People Are Dying From Our Plastic Pollution (VIDEO), Baby Sea Turtle Found Dead After Eating Plastic and Sea Gull Population Greatly Affected Due to Ingesting Plastic Rubber Bands Mistaken for Worms.

Sign this petition to Keep Plastic Pollution Out of the Ocean!

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