We need to talk about the devastating impacts of litter on our planet.
It feels surreal that in 2022 we have to tell people not to litter, but here we are to teach and spread awareness about the true damage of litter on our planet.
Share this post with someone who needs to understand how damaging it can be!
1. Litter Impacts Wildlife
Litter can directly impact wildlife by causing animals harm and unfortunately even death.
The Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation provides several examples of how litter can harm animals:
- animals can get their heads stuck in containers or jars leading to starvation, vulnerability, and suffocation
- cut themselves leaving them injured with the possibility of infection
- ingesting toxic chemicals
- eating plastic or latex which can make them sick or impact their digestive tract
- suffocating due to plastic bags
- getting tangled in nets and ropes or stuck in trash leaving them immobile
And unfortunately, these are only a few of the possible impacts litter can have on our wildlife.
Littering is costly to the economy.
Sometimes people need to realize the cost of the problem to want to change it.
Here are some examples for context.
In Europe, the cost of cleaning litter on land is estimated to be €10-30 BILLION. This is without considering marine litter which would make this number much higher.
In the United States, litter cleanup is said to cost $11.5 billion each year!
Numbers don’t lie, littering costs serious money!
3. Spreads Disease
Diseases can spread to both wildlife and people!
If you do not handle litter safely, you risk coming into contact with germs.
It is also important to note that animals can pick up diseases from litter which is also a risk for passing on to humans!
Litter pollutes our water, our soil, and even the air.
Chemicals from litter are released into our environment which does not just magically go away.
We pay the price for litter pollution. These chemicals make their way back to wildlife and humans.
5. Fire Risk
Litter that is flammable (cigarette butts are a major fire risk in our litter) can risk a start and further spread of wildfires.
Wildfires can create serious damage to our environment and cities, we should be doing everything we can to reduce fire risks.
6. Eye Sore
Let’s be honest, litter can ruin a beautiful view.
Nothing is worse than going for a hike and seeing the trail littered with trash and plastic bags.
This is why I find it funny that people call windmills and solar panels an eye sore as if we do not have much worse eye sores in our area!
The impact of litter on our planet is nothing short of devastating.
Unfortunately, sometimes people need this shock factor to make a change.
I commit to cleaning up litter every month – follow my Instagram to follow that journey!