Litter is anything not disposed of properly. In that case, the wind can blow away plastic grocery bags, cigarette filters, and takeout containers until the litter reaches our waterways and oceans. As a result, aquatic organisms, animals, and plants are negatively affected. Animals die of plastic rubbish because their senses tell them that litter is food. In reality, litter is not appetising and only endangers their lives. Here are other animal littering facts you need to know:
- Every year, approximately one million seabirds across the globe die because of marine litter.
- Around 60 per cent of all seabird species in the world have ingested plastic. By 2050, 99 per cent of all seabirds will have eaten plastic litter.
- Experts predicted that by the year 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fishes by weight.
- Around 100,000 marine animals, including mammals and sea turtles, die yearly of plastic entanglement and ingestion.
- Plastic marine debris has Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) on their surfaces. This toxic chemical can accumulate in the bodies of whales and other organisms on the top of the food chain when they ingest microplastics and plastic litter.
- Usually, fish and other marine animals can’t differentiate plastic from food. Litter looks like food to their eyes, so they try to eat it.
- Animals starve when they eat plastic rubbish. That’s because ingesting rubbish gives them the false sense of being full. In the long run, the plastics in their stomach fill their gut capacity, leading to starvation and then death.
- Marine debris affects around 86 per cent of all sea turtles. Over 50 per cent of all sea turtles have already ingested plastic litter.
- Small organisms like planktons and clams eat microplastics. At present, there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastics in the ocean right now.
- Microplastics can be passed on along the food chain. When small animals who have ingested microplastics get eaten by larger organisms, the plastic goes on until to the last consumer. That final consumer could be you eating your fish for lunch.
- Birds, pets, and other animals could step in littered gum, which can cause them difficulties and limited mobility.
- Fishing lines and hooks cause injuries and entanglement of thousands of fishes, sea turtles, birds, and marine wildlife. Fishing hooks wound these creatures while fishing nets limit their movement.
- Globally, over 260 species of wildlife have become entangled in or swallowed fishing line, nets, ropes and other fishing equipment.
- Approximately 177 species of fish, marine reptiles, and mammals are endangered due to swallowing litter. This figure is estimated from the autopsies of sharks, whales, turtles and dolphins discovered on the coasts.
- Six million tonnes of litter enters the world’s oceans every year. That weight is almost the same as one million elephants.
- Carbon emissions into the atmosphere kills our coral reefs. That’s because the ocean absorbs excess carbon dioxide in the air, making the water acidic. As a result, the acidity damages our coral reefs and causes coral bleaching.
- Litter causes water pollution which can be toxic for fishes and land animals. Polluted water has toxins that may cause blood clotting, convulsions, and diseases that may kill fishes and animals who drink the water.
- Littering can lead to animal attacks. Litter lures wild animals that are in search for food to your home. It increases the likelihood of encountering dangerous animals which can maul or eat you.
- Around 500 dead zones created by pollution are present in the oceans. Life in these areas is impossible for animals or plants.
- More than one-third of the Atlantic ocean where shellfishes thrive is damaged by pollution. As a result, many shellfish businesses are in danger of bankruptcy on the East Coast.
Littering is a global problem requiring an urgent solution. At present, about 9 million tonnes of litter enter our world’s oceans.
Although we don’t throw our trash directly into the ocean, we are to blame for that great amount. Littering on the streets and discarding your waste improperly causes the rubbish to eventually end up in the ocean through the wind and other agents.
One way you could avoid littering is by keeping any piece of rubbish with you until you find a proper disposal area for it. Litter as small as a cigarette filter already drastically impacts the environment. What more if your litter is large pieces of rubbish?
Aussie Junk is here to help you with our rubbish removal services. We will collect all the clutter you have at home so we can dispose of them in the most sustainable manner possible.
Don’t worry if you have piles of junk lying around your house for years. Just give us a call, and we’ll be there within an hour to pick up every piece of rubbish you have and take them away from you.