Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Birds and Plastic

Quite shocked to see an ABC "Catalyst" program last week about Shearwater chicks on Lord Howe Island (off our Australian coast) which has had a dramatic drop in numbers.  Their parents are picking up what they think is fish but is plastic pieces and feeding their chicks with it.  We've all seen photos of plastic-filled birds but to actually see this scientist split open the body of the dead chick and see it stuffed full of brightly coloured plastic was horrifying. 

And what can one person do about it after all?  Except be careful about disposal and using plastic - such a useful material but it doesn't degrade, just breaks into smaller and smaller pieces, easier for wildlife to eat.  One thing I have been doing is using those plastic bread tags that hold the plastic bag of bread at the top; I collect them and use as beads on bookmarks and book spines - they can be "as is" or heat-gunned.  They have become part of my personal artistic style.  Several people collect them for me.  When you turn the heat-gun on them, they curl up into little curvy cylinders; not all alike, each one is different, and if you hold several close together you can get them to intertwine for a longer bead.  ALWAYS USE HEAT RESISTANT GLOVES FOR THIS.  Here is a photo or two of what they look like.

The other two photos show them curled and partly curled by the heat gun.
You can see two together as well as singles.

To see the story from the first paragraph, this is one of many sites linking to the story.

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