Billions of bits of plastic waste threaten humans and wildlife, Australian senators told

Plastic pollution in the marine environment is a “critical problem” for global ecosystems and for human health as microscopic pieces of waste enter the food chain, an Australian Senate inquiry has been told.

Marine biologist Jennifer Lavers told the first day of the inquiry in Sydney on Thursday that she discovered more than one in 10 young flesh-footed shearwater birds – common visitors to Australian coasts – were dying from ingesting plastic or from plastic chemical contamination. “This would be happening in other species as well,” she said.

Last updated on 18 February 2016