Discarded Diet Coke cans can become a serious wildlife and companion animal hazard. They are transformed into razor-sharp objects when cut and destroyed by lawnmowers. I’m referring to a story on the website Kent Online which reports shredded Diet Coke cans found along the Royal Military Canal in Hythe, Kent, UK.
They were discovered by the founder of the Litter Picking Watch Romney Marsh group, Eric Brown.
He said that after the grass had been cut shredded aluminium drink cans, broken glass and plastic bottles became a hazard. The shards of aluminium from the cans were razor-sharp.
Clearly, wildlife and particularly dogs wandering around the area while going on a walk could easily cut their paws. People are also at risk.
I am sure that when a person throws away Diet Coke cans they do not think of the possibility that they’re creating a hazard to others. Often it is quite a short walk to find a refuse bin. People are being careless and irresponsible.
Even if the cans and bottles are not shredded by lawnmowers, they can become a hazard for wildlife and indeed domestic cats who might force their heads into the item to eat the food at the bottom of it. Their heads become stuck. You will see many videos and photographs online of stray and feral cats with their heads stuck in cans and jars. It is very distressing to see and of course for the animals concerned.
Mr Brown refers to animal suffocating in this way. He has shared pictures of dead animals on Facebook to encourage people to behave more responsibly.
This is a good opportunity to mention again another new product which is becoming a problem, namely coronavirus facemasks. I’ve seen them on pavements and in the park. Perhaps they’re simply falling out of hand bags and pockets rather than being deliberately discarded. Nonetheless, they present a hazard to wildlife particularly marine wildlife as many thousands of them have been found on Hong Kong beaches. They can also harm birds as indicated by an earlier story.