For These Beautiful Midway Island Birds, Plastic is a Food Group

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aly the albatross photo
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"We are at a mid-way place," photographer Chris Jordan explains on the Journey to Midway blog, "on a remote and isolated island in the middle of the Pacific, 1200 miles northwest of Hawaii."

Located at the apex of the Pacific Garbage Patch, the small cluster of islands that make up Midway Atoll are protected by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but the rangers can do little to prevent animals from finding the teeming mass of pollution just off shore. This plastic pollution is dire for bird species, which confuse it with food: Albatross chicks alone in the Midway Atoll eat 5 tons of plastic per year.

Chris Jordan—along with fellow photographer Kris Krüg and a host of other filmmakers, artists, and writers—have returned to Midway to capture the essence of a place on the brink.

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Photo credit: Kris Krüg/Creative Commons