The magnitude of plastic pollution has reached new heights as scientists discover plastic pollution in the High Arctic. After finding chemical additives in birds' eggs, it seems irresponsible to deny the implications of this discovery. Due to the absolute remoteness of the sampling, scientists are worried to unveil the level of chemical additives that may be affecting other parts of the world.
The eggs were discovered more than 100 miles away from the nearest civilization, which indicates that plastic waste issues are much more magnified than scientists had anticipated. Being that the level of plastic in this area and amongst these birds was incredibly low, but still present, it raises the interest of how high the levels may be in other areas of the world.
The types of plastics found are believed to be from bottle tops, cigarette butts and other plastics that seabirds often mistake for food. When these plastics are ingested, they are often too large to be properly digested by seabirds. This leads them to sit in the stomach and eventually leach chemicals that can make their way into the developing eggs.
Many of these plastics also contain hormone-disrupting compounds that can cause the chemicals to envelop these unborn chicks. This can lead to deformities due to the fact that the yolk sac is the only food source of the developing chicks. Of course, it's too early to understand if the discovered eggs are going to experience such deformities.
Now that plastic has started to affect wildlife in the most remote areas of the world, scientists are desperate to calculate the impact of plastic on local animal environments that have much higher plastic contents. Although chemical traces were only discovered in a small amount of sampled eggs, it is believed that there are a lot of uncalculated factors to be uncovered.