Plastic kills1,000,000 sea birds die every year because they ingest single-use plastics. Birds can't digest plastic. Plastic gets stuck in their digestive system and then they die.
Here are a few more photos of what sea bird deaths look like. These photos were taken by Chris Jordan, who's been profiled on this blog before and is known for his visually-jarring works that reflect where our consumerist culture is out of whack. The photos are from his most recent trip to the Garbage Patch.
Some of our choices regarding leading a smaller-footprint lifestyle are more challenging than others. The drastic reduction of single-use plastics, at least from my perspective, is one of the easier ones. It's much less expensive to use a water filter and re-usable bottles to drink water. It's pretty darn easy to take reusable bags (which seem to be ubiquitous at the moment) into a grocery store rather than use plastic ones for ten minutes and then throw them away.
If you've already done those things and you're still looking for ways to engage on this topic, turn to your family, friends and co-workers. Educate them on the issues surrounding this topic. Enable them to become part of the movement that brings things back into some semblance of environmental balance.