EcoSoc members visited The University of Exeter, Tremough Campus on Wednesday 10th November as part of our research looking at plastics in gull pellets.
Harvey Parker (year 10), suggested that we should look at gull pellets to see if there were any plastics in them. Harvey’s idea has resulted in our research project working with The University of Exeter.
We are working with Prof. Jon Blount and some of his undergraduates to identify the type of plastics in gull pellets. We found plastics in gull pellets collected from sites in Coverack. FTIR spectroscopy was used to determine the type of plastic in the pellets, which identifies plastics by the wavelength of reflected light and matching them to known patterns. Plastics in the pellets were found to be polyethylene, which is a plastic commonly used in single use items.
This work was filmed by the BBC and featured on Spotlight News. Please click on the video below if you would like to see the recording.