22% rise in animals affected by plastic litter

22% rise in animals affected by plastic litter Credit: RSPCA

The number of animals affected by plastic litter is at an all time high. The RSPCA says cases have gone up 22 per cent in four years.

Along the east coast there have been several cases of seals being injured by things like frisbees.

The RSPCA recorded 536 incidents of animals involved in litter in the East - a figure which has doubled in four years.

The charity’s latest data also reveals that there are certain animals, especially those that live in water habitats, which are being affected disproportionately by plastic.

22% rise in animals affected by plastic litter Credit: RSPCA

There has been a fourfold rise in seals affected by incidents involving plastic litter with 28 recorded across England and Wales in 2018 compared to just 5 in 2015.

This shocking rise in plastic litter incidents suggests that plastic is a growing threat to animals. Every year, the RSPCA deals with increasing numbers of mammals, birds and reptiles that have become entangled or affected in some way by discarded plastic. From seals with deep infected wounds caused by plastic frisbees cutting into their necks, to swans and geese trapped in fishing line or netting, plastic is clearly having an increasing impact on animal welfare. Our latest data sadly reflects the wider litter crisis taking place right now across the globe and action is urgently needed. It’s up to every one of us to do our bit in the war against litter.”

Adam Grogan, RSPCA