Wildlife and Littering

Topics: Waste, Litter, Moreton Bay Pages: 1 (308 words) Published: February 25, 2013
Wildlife & Littering…
Littering is a major issue in today’s society, it affects everyone but everyone does it, so why do people still choose to litter knowing the consequences? Littering isn’t a terribly difficult issue to solve, if everyone did their bit our environment would look a lot cleaner. Littering has many side effects associated with the trash we carelessly throw out, mainly on our wildlife and environment. Cigarette butts are the number one littered item in the world. Since cigarettes are made from a vast assortment of chemicals and a form of plastic, they can take from 18 months to up to around 12 years to break down. These small cigarette butts are extremely harmful to wildlife, they have been found in the stomachs of many animals such as dogs, birds and found to be polluting the water of lakes and rivers. Besides the fact that land animals suffer from trash and litter we throw, marine animals also suffer from choking hazards such as plastic and foam cups that get blown into the sea. Plastic bags have impacted marine wildlife significantly, especially turtles, so much that it has been dubbed as ‘Turtle’s Biggest Killer’ by Dr Kathy Townsend, Manager of Research & Education at The University of Queensland Moreton Bay Research Station. Up to 100,000 marine animals and around a million seabirds each year are being killed by household rubbish that we haphazardly get rid of. So in an indirect way, we are unjustly killing these innocent animals. Look at the bigger picture, with every square kilometre of the world’s oceans there are 18,000 pieces of plastic litter floating around. Plastic bags can take up to 20 years to break down while plastic bottles can take up to 450 years to break down. If we don’t do something about it now, it might be too late.
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