Plastic pellets killing birds in Scotland

April 18, 2007

Environmentalists say birds on Scotland's Firth of Forth are dying after eating plastic pellets from a nearby oil refinery.

The Scotsman newspaper said many birds mistake the tiny beads for small fish or plankton.

The pellets, which are made from distilled oil at the Grangemouth oil refinery, likely fell off trucks while being transported to plastics factories, the newspaper said. Thousands of pellets were found on Cramond Beach during a weekend clean-up effort by the Marine Conservation Society.

More than 90,000 seabirds breed every year in the 63-mile-long Forth estuary.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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