Scientists gutted as plastic takes toll on wildlife
PLASTIC is now found in the stomachs of 80 per cent of bird species, up from less than 5 per c cent in 1960.
CSIRO scientists said that, b by 2050, it would be found in 99 per cent of seabird species and 90 per cent of all seabirds alive today had eaten some k kind of plastic.
It is the first time scientists have made a global prediction of how wide-reaching the plasti tic toll on marine species is.
They said Australia was one of the worst places for plastic pollution and called on governments to take action.
CSIRO senior research scientist Chris Wilcox said birds mistook brightly coloured items for food, or swallowed them by accident.
This caused gut impaction, weight loss and potentially death.
Plastic was found in about 20 marine species, including albatrosses, shearwaters, penguins, turtles, whales and crocodiles.
Litter included bags, bottle caps and plastic fibres from synthetic clothes.
An Environment Department survey found 40 per cent of small turtles passing through Moreton Bay off Brisbane had eaten plastics, while 70 per cent of endangered small loggerheads had also ingested plastic.