Ocean Plastic: The Colourful Killer

You may have seen photos of Hawaiian albatrosses full of plastic, but you probably didn’t realise that the same thing is happening in Australia. And it’s tragic.

Found Inside ONE shearwater chick on Lord Howe Island.

Found Inside ONE shearwater chick on Lord Howe Island.

Dr Jennifer Lavers has been studying the effects of plastic pollution on the population of flesh-footed shearwaters on Lord Howe Island, and the findings are devastating.

Jennifer found 270 pieces of plastic inside an 80-day old flesh-footed shearwater chick on Lord Howe Island. She’s also found that 100% of this species on World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island contain plastic.

Dr Jennifer Lavers on Lord Howe Island.

Dr Jennifer Lavers on Lord Howe Island.

Populations have already declined by more than 50% in the past 35 years. We need to find out more, before it’s too late.

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Here’s how you can help.

Funding is urgently needed for research on remote islands off Western Australia. Jennifer is now hoping to study how seabirds on these islands are being affected and provide much needed data to raise awareness about the extent of this issue.

She is being assisted by a group of volunteers from the Two Hands Project. Two Hands’ mission is to raise awareness of the effects of plastic pollution, and their message is simple:

The Two Hands Project: take your two hands and take action.

The Two Hands Project: take your two hands and take action.

Don’t wait for Clean Up Australia Day. Don’t assume someone will clean up after you. Take YOUR two hands, take 30 minutes, and look after your favourite patch of coastline.

The message has reached far and wide, with over 35,000 people around the world uploading photos of their spontaneous clean-ups to the Two Hands Project Facebook page.

Even better, this simple idea connects community groups, schools, individuals, businesses and local authorities with their local area through regular involvement.

Two Hands Project's co-founder Silke Stuckenbrock with volunteer Alice Forrest.

Two Hands Project’s co-founder Silke Stuckenbrock (right) with volunteer Alice Forrest.

The best bit of all: this results in changes in behaviour and attitudes to the way we ‘consume’ plastic.

So please take your two hands (and your wallet) and help with this vital research project. The team are after support to cover airfare to Perth and accommodation. Nothing fancy.

You can donate here.

Your money will go towards:

  • Vital research into the effects of plastic pollution on Australian seabirds such as the flesh footed shearwater.
  • Education and raising awareness about this huge problem.
  • Ongoing research on Australia’s seabirds.

AND! Every dollar you donate will be matched by the awesome Jack Johnson.

As part of his From Here to Now To You Tour,  Jack Johnson’s charity is matching donations contributed to us at the show or directly to our organization through December 31st.

DONATE NOW and choose your reward

Shearwaters at sunset on Lord Howe Island.

Shearwaters at sunset on Lord Howe Island. Credit: Ian Hutton.