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Albatrosses vs. Plastics: Who Do You Think will Win the War?

One of the most deadly environmental problems we face today is the rise of plastics. Millions of tons of plastics get dumped into the landfill and the ocean every single day. What’s worse, these plastics take a long time before they can be completely decomposed. We’re now experiencing the massive flash floods and landslides, increased heat index, severe hurricanes, and extreme weather disturbances, and one of the reason behind these drastic life-threatening changes are definitely these solid waste materials.

But, it seems that most people tend to ignore these warning signals and we’ve accepted this horrible cycle as the new norm. Sadly, we cannot seem to function efficiently without using plastics. That was until this renowned photographer woke up our souls with his painful image of a dead albatross surrounded by plastics.

A Wake-up Call to Save the Mother Earth

The renowned American filmmaker and photographer Chris Jordan believes that the best way to educate people is to engage them in an emotional campaign. While Statistics and Science play a great part in imposing lessons about protecting our mother Earth, it isn’t enough to cause a stir in the public. That’s why Chris Jordan resorted to utilizing his skills in photography to raise awareness about different environmental issues.

The albatross flies with grace as if it has the freedom to fly wherever it wants; unaware of the dangers lurking around…

Jordan first visited Midway last September 2009. He was already fascinated with one of the most majestic birds known as albatross. That’s why he intended to visit Midway to photograph thousands of these creatures soaring across the sky and dancing with the waves.

Knowing that albatrosses didn’t have natural predators lurking around the area, they are used to getting along and interact with humans who live nearby. Back then, Jordan was really hoping to create some bond with the said bird during his stay. But that’s not what happened when he came to the remote island, discovering a horrible and devastating reality he was never prepared to witness.  This prompted him to change his plan and work on showing the public the real, unspoken damage these plastic wastes do to our fragile planet.

According to Jordan, witnessing this majestic bird filling his gut with nothing but empty plastics, was horrible to watch

He first photographed an albatross flying across the sky with his wings spread wide. But, once the albatross descended near the beach to hunt for its food,  the sea of colorful plastics floating above greeted its sight. Thinking it was the food he’d been looking for, he consumed the plastics unknowingly. The poor animal didn’t know that the food he consumed was going to poison him, which lead to Jordan’s second photograph. This time, he photographed a dead albatross surrounded with man-made plastic materials.

An Environmental Apocalypse

The latter photograph received the intended impression as it caused a stir worldwide. Jordan gives a blunt and painful reminder to all people that our planet is in real danger. Even the civic groups and environmental organizations got alarmed how the colonies of Laysan albatrosses were drying in the remote Pacific Island. The US naval station situated in Midway went underway to clean the beaches as much as possible from plastics to save the albatrosses.

If Norway’s citizens decide to deposit their plastic bottles, in return, they get their money back

While Jordan was ecstatic about the said courses of actions, he reiterated that this wasn’t enough to make a significant change. He acknowledged the effort of one person or group to lead change by eliminating the use of plastics. However, an individual’s effort isn’t enough to change the world. However, if 100 million people decide to get rid of plastics altogether, that is when a significant and real change happens. He also stated how other countries like Norway recycled their plastic products and hopes that the United States will follow suit. But as long as it’s not happening, Jordan will keep raising environmental awareness to urge the people to change their perspectives and start taking an action before plastics consume us all.

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