In The Rime of the Ancient Mariner a ship sailing in the deep south is cursed after the narrator kills a Albatross with his cross bow.
But in the middle of the Pacific today on the island of Midway a third of all Albatross chicks die, and the cause is often the same - plastic.
Not just those disposable plastic bags posted about before, but almost everything we use that isn't biodegradable, from biros and toothbrushes to cigarette lighters and bottle tops.
Of the two million birds on the island researchers reported here have concluded that every single one is likely to contain at least some plastic.
And the plastic comes not from nearby but from all over the Pacific, trapped by the North Pacific Gyre.
If you follow that link you'll see some pretty startling facts - such as:
- plastic is accountable for the death of a million sea birds and 100,000 sea mammals a year
- a square kilometer of ocean has about 13,000 pieces of plastic within it
- one bird in Belgium was found to contain 1,600 pieces of plastic
This is seriously rubbish. Not so much water water everywhere and not a drop to drink, but not a drop safe for the animals to drink.
And what they eat we end up eating.