A new study found that birds in the UK are eating hundred of microplastic fragments on a daily basis. Birds that live along waterways and rivers in Britain eat fragments because worms and insects they ingest have already eaten the plastic.

In a horrible example of the food chain at work, plastic has become ubiquitous in this specific food chain, according to research published in the journal Global Change Biology. Birds therefore ingest “hundreds” of piece of microplastics, plastics 5mm or smaller, each day.

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Cardiff University researchers said this is evidence that plastic is making its way up the food chain. “These iconic birds, the dippers, are ingesting hundreds of pieces of plastic every day,” Prof Steve Ormerod of Cardiff University’s Water Research Institute told the BBC. “They’re also feeding this material to their chicks.”

Plastic contamination has been found in oceans, rivers and multiple species. This is just additional evidence of it in our environment. “The fact that so many river insects are contaminated makes it inevitable that fish, birds and other predators will pick up these polluted prey – but this is the first time that this type of transfer through food webs has been shown clearly in free-living river animals,” said co-researcher Dr Joseph D’Souza.

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!

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