Spontaneous assembly of poison pills
Sahu, Pati and Panigrahy detail the kinds of unexpected effects litter may have in the environment in a letter written to Current Science:
Sandilyan and Kathiresan have observed that [plastic] carry bags hanging on the mangrove tree branches produce a peculiar sound during wind flow that disturbs the foraging of migratory and resident birds in Pichavaram mangrove area.
It has been widely reported that discarded and lost fishing nets in wetlands continue to trap and catch fishes and other valuable species, which is commonly known as ‘ghost fishing’.
Plastic residues floating in water attract and hold polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), dichloro-diphenyl-trichloro-ethane (DDT), dichloro-diphenyl-dichloro-ethylene (DDE), etc. which are hydrophobic and highly toxic. They are capable of uptaking one million times their background levels of these toxic materials, which are not readily soluble in water. The plastic litters with accumulation of such toxic pollutants act as poison pills to many organisms when they ingest the plastic remains found suspended in water along with food stuff.