8-22-12: albatross puking up a toothbrush

Reading Carl Safina’s Eye of the Albatross. He describes being on Midway, one of the planet’s most isolated islands, and watching an albatross disgorging food for its chick. A green plastic toothbrush emerges from its throat but won’t come all the way out. It tries several times to regurgitate the toothbrush for its hungry chick, then gives up and waddles away, the toothbrush still inside it.

That is how this blog — this whole disgusting plastic thing — started, reading about plastic in albatross chicks. Laysan albatrosses pick up plastic washed into the ocean from every nation lining the north Pacific: the U.S., China, Japan, Mexico, Canada.

Albatross aren’t stupid. For several million years they have been plucking hard objects like floating pumice out of the ocean to get the flyingfish eggs that are attached. Ocean-smoothed pumice easily comes up. Flyingfish eggs may also attach to floating plastic, but it’s not always so easy to puke up.

Let’s see what today’s harvest has snatched from the mouth of the albatross.

Most of this comes from the schoolyard on the corner.

SOUR PATCH kids Soft & Chewy Candy package, featuring an animated sour patch kid holding a video game controller. Price $2.19.

SOUR THEN SWEET. SOUR PATCH KIDS BERRIES package Artificially Flavored. The back features an animated Sour Patch kid with a collection of spray paint cans. RULE! has been written underneath SOUR PATCH kids berries as if in graffiti with the pseudo tag SPK”. Package contains several sparkly sugar-coated candies: two purple, two blue, one red. Price: $2.19.

small square of white styrofoam

solid tube of white foam, crushed on one end

one bottle of red paint, mostly empty

one bottle of purple paint, a little more full

clear straw

red straw

CHARMS® SUPER BLOW POP BUBBLE GUM FILLED POP SOUR APPLE ARTIFICIALLY FLAVORED wrapper still smelling sickly sweet

very faded Doritos bag fragment

AIR HEADS WATERMELON wrapper

NEW BIGGER SIZE! CHESTER’S FRIED FLAMIN’ HOT CORN & POTATO SNACKS wrapper

large clear bag filled with foam remnants THIS BAG IS NOT A TOY WARNING: TO AVOID DANGER OF SUFFOCATION, KEEP THIS BAG AWAY FROM BABIES AND CHILDREN. DO NOT USE IN CRIBS, BEDS, CARRIAGES AND PLAY PENS. THIS BAG IS NOT A TOY. KNOT BEFORE THROWING AWAY.

narrow clear bag with the same warning message.

 

 

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