Disturbing Video of a Seagull Eating a Plastic Bag

Written by Jaymi Heimbuch

If you wonder why plastic bag bans are important, here’s your demonstration. This is just one bird out of millions that consume our used plastic — just one species out of thousands of species that are killed daily by eating what they think is food. (And don’t say, “Well it just shows how stupid they are,” because that’s about the lamest response one can muster on this issue. The fact is we’re allowing plastic to enter into the food chain eventually to eat it ourselves so we’re the stupid ones.)

I have to admit, I really don’t get how the videographer couldn’t stop the seagull from eating the bag. I guess I understand the need to witness the full event in order to make the point, and stopping this one incident wouldn’t stop the same bird from eating a bag found a half a mile away. I get it. But it’s still hard to watch this being filmed knowing someone was there to stop it, and didn’t. And yet — that’s the role we play every day. We have the ability to stop this ourselves, every day, if we choose to end the consumption of single-use plastic.

So, there you have it. A pretty disturbing video that may help hammer home the point of just how bad single-use plastic really is.

This post was originally published by TreeHugger.



.5 years ago

very disturbing video,thank you for sharing(hope something will be done about this situation)

Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing

Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra6 years ago

Thank you TreeHugger, for Sharing this!

Bill K.
Bill K6 years ago

also, secure your recyclables on windy days. lightweight bottles and cans easily blow from the recycling bins and down the street to the nearest storm sewer or stream. sometimes the entire bin can be seen blowing down the street.

Bill K.
Bill K6 years ago

please pick up plastics and other trash from your neighborhoods, local streams, natural areas, or wherever you are. it's not that time-consuming (unfortunately) to come home with bags of trash from your time spent outside.

Halee M.
Halee M6 years ago

Before bashing the videographer, let us remember that if he/she came too close the bird might have fled and still consume the bag.
Then we would have NO footage to teach us a lesson.

Remember the shot with the little starving child in Africa and the awaiting vulture on tow?
It opened the world's eyes to what was happening to people on the other side of the world.

As painful as it is, one is sacrificed (hopefully) for a greater good.

Julie Cordner
Julie Cordner6 years ago

I think at some point the poor creature didn't have any choice other than to completely swallow the bag; so much had gone in that he couldn't have got it out if he tried. But I vehemently decry someone watching all this so callously. It think it would be inevitable that that gull would have died from ingesting so much. Yet, even if one had seen that from a later stage and saw the other pieces of rubbish rolling around, and another gull nearby, THEN, wouldn't you go and retrieve the rubbish and dispose of it...? We all KNOW that plastic kills animals; this isn't a new or startling bit of information.

Mark Donners
Mark Donner6 years ago

I agree with Frances anybody who films this happening without doing something about it you be slapped senseless.

Sammy B.
Sammy Brace6 years ago

Thank god I live in Wales where plastic bags have been banned and we only have canvas, paper or 'bags for life' bags

Nadja B.
Nadja B6 years ago

face the realities of our time