Plastic rings can find their way into the habitats of many wild species where they can do damage and kill animals. The picture on this page is very illustrative of the dangers to wildlife of plastic rings. The very minor inconvenience of cutting a ring before it is disposed of will help to protect wildlife. I’m thankful to the Twitter tweet of Chris for this tip. It did not occur to me and I am sure that it doesn’t occur to 99.9% of the population of the UK or any other country. It’s a good conservation tip. There are some horrendous pictures of plastic harming and killing wildlife. Quite shocking. You can see one example by clicking the link below.
Another example of how human waste can really cause massive problems of survival to wildlife is empty cans, plastic bottles or bags lying around in the wild where a hungry animal stuffs their head into it and can’t get it off. They eventually starve to death unless a nice person happens to come along and take it off. You see videos of this but of course we don’t see videos of wild animals starving to death with a plastic bottle over their head.
It seems that six-pack rings finding their way into the oceans are a particular concern to conservationists. They can encircle the body of marine wildlife. Thankfully there is a heightened awareness of conservation and some beer companies are trying to create new ways to hold their six-packs together without killing marine wildlife.
National Geographic has some suggestions to alternative to plastic rings. They mention that the beer company Salt Water Brewery announced, in 2016, that their six-packs would be packaged with a compostable holder, an eco-six-pack ring. The container is compostable and if it finds its way into the oceans it is edible. It is made from byproducts of beer brewing such as wheat and barley.
Nick Mallos, the director of the Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Sees told National Geographic in 2016: “I can’t speak to the nutrition of barley to sea turtles, but it does seem a lot more benign if ingested than traditional six-pack plastics”.
In June, 2018, the Danish beer company Carlsberg Breweries announced that they would be using a newly engineered type of glue to hold there sixpacks together. It took a lot of time and effort to make an adhesive that was strong enough to hold them together but one that allowed customers to pull the sixpack apart without too much effort.
Plastics in general are a horrendous polluter of the oceans as we know. Plastic pollution is in every corner of the oceans no matter how deep or remote. There was a lot of talk about plastic pollution last year but, typically, not enough is being done to prevent it. There is not enough urgency to protect wildlife from plastic waste, particularly microparticles. The problem with humankind is that if they can’t see it, they don’t think it exists and 99.9% of the human population don’t actually see, first-hand, the oceans and the marine wildlife killed by plastic.
Below are some more pages of conservation.