We all know the dangers of littering – what it means for our environment and how detrimental it is to our planet, but do we know exactly how dangerous it is for the Wildlife around us?
To put it in to perspective – The RSPCA answer approximately 5000 calls per year, that’s around 14 calls PER DAY about animals that have been injured or got into bother with litter. This doesn’t even include pets or animals who are taken directly to the vets or wild animals who are not found until it’s too late, if at all.
RSPCA officers regularly have to save animals including pets who have been injured on broken glass bottles, trapped in empty tin cans, reports of birds choking on elastic bands and more recently a gull in Essex found to have a disposable face mask wrapped tightly around his legs with no way of setting himself free. These incidents can be so easily prevented if everyone was educated on how we can help, and by disposing of litter in the correct way.
Everyday objects that seem perfectly safe, can sadly become hazardous when found accidentally by animals, even when we think we’re disposing of them correctly. So what can we do to ensure we’re not damaging our precious wildlife as well as our environment?…
- Snip the straps of disposable face masks before binning them, to ensure they can’t get entangled around the legs of wildlife.
- Crush all cans and pull the tab back to cover the hole before you send them for recycling so that small animals can’t get their heads stuck in them.
- Ensure you’re washing out the residue from all containers and pop the lids back on them before putting them in the recycling bin.
- Tie a secure knot in the top of rubbish bags before disposing of them to help prevent injuries and death to small creatures by crawling inside.
- Make sure you cut all of the loops of plastic can holders to avoid animals necks getting stuck in them.
- You can help protect animals by cutting up balloons before putting them safely into your bin, and by not participating in balloon releases – although some are bio-degradable this can take a couple of weeks and it only takes one second for an animal to swallow a balloon.
- Avoid accidental harm to the local wildlife and environment by leaving no trace of fishing once you’ve been – take everything with you when you leave the area including nets, tackle and lines.
- Clean and recycle all glass jars and bottles then place them gently in your lidded recycling bin to avoid any sharp edges that could cause harm to animals.
- Lastly, remember to clear all your rubbish away from wherever you are and put it in a designated bin, or take it home to dispose of. There really shouldn’t be any excuse for having to litter.