Our town and country, furry, prickly and feathered friends are also getting into sticky situations.

Many of us don’t live near an ocean or sea, but we’re aware of the issues of plastic. How it’s affecting our marine wildlife such as sea turtles, whales, dolphins and seabirds is clear. Let’s not forget that plastic waste is also harmful to the wildlife that live close by.

It’s there home to…

The wildlife around us is vast, whether we live in a city or town or we call the countryside home. Plastic waste is also causing unnecessary stress and even death, to our inland wildlife. We’re affecting the lives of foxes, badgers, hedgehogs, deer and our birds with our plastic waste disposal.

Plastic waste poses a risk from the moment we take into our homes.  Many containers are hazardous to our wildlife, yoghurt pots, ready meal trays, plastic bottles and plastic ring yokes to name a few. Urban foxes, hedgehogs and badgers, risk becoming trapped or injured. Nothing smells more delicious to them then sweet leftovers, but getting their nose into the very bottom of a yoghurt pot could have disastrous consequences.  Unwashed pots and trays are such a temptation. A little rinse of the plastic tub before disposal makes it instantly less appealing to a hungry fox. 

On the wing not a ring..

The dangers ring yokes offer to unsuspecting birds and animals is clear. However, many of the plastic bottles brought into our homes contain smaller plastic rings around the neck of the bottle. These small rings are posing a serious threat to birds.  Small garden birds often pick these up to use as nesting material and upon hatching this sharp object can cause distress to tender, unfeathered skin.

It could be decades until a plastic ring is collected by refuse collectors if dropped ‘en route’ to the nest.

To note, some manufacturers are already taking steps to remove the yokes from their production lines in favour of more environmentally friendly options (see this article).

It doesn’t end there, plastic doesn’t disappear, it simply breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces. Damaging visible pieces of plastic that are discarded or passed by the larger animals eventually become so small that the human eye can’t see them. These tiny fragments become ingested by the smaller animals and mini beasts around us, causing them to have shorter, uncomfortable lives.  

While we might not want foxes in our streets, or ants in our kitchen – we also don’t want to be responsible for the death of them from man-made plastic waste.  Nature offers us such beauty in our wildlife, we need to take steps to preserve it for the future generations.