Some members of our industry are taking the plastic pollution problem seriously, others aren’t. Those of us that are, need to keep informed on the topic, both the good work that is being done to address the problem as well as new aspects of the problem as they become apparent. Only if we’re informed can we take precautions and address the issues our industry still has with regard to the plastic pollution problem.

Here is one of those problems that has recently been confirmed—a new disease caused by plastics discovered in seabirds. The disease has been named “plasticosis.” The symptoms include scarring of the digestive tract when plastic is ingested. This is according to the scientists at the Natural History Museum in London.

It has also been found in baby birds that have inadvertently been fed plastic by their parents along with their regular food. This disease has a knock-on effect inasmuch as when the tubular glands in the first part of the bird’s stomach (the proventriculus organ) are damaged, it affects feeding, absorption of vitamins, and other dietary-related issues that eventually cause death.

Just another reason to be aware of the plastic pollution problem in our industry.