Litter warning: Ducklings mistakenly eat cigarette butts

After ducklings were photographed chewing on cigarette butts, campaigners warned that litter could pose a danger to animals.

Litter warning: Ducklings mistakenly eat cigarette butts

After ducklings were photographed chewing on cigarette butts, campaigners warned that litter could pose a danger to animals.

Linda Wick noticed the ducklings at Lamby Lake, Cardiff during her lunch break.

The 58-year-old Llanedeyrn resident from Cardiff said, "I think that they thought the butts were a kind of food."

According to the RSPCA, litter is a serious problem that could have devastating consequences for wildlife and pets.

Ms Wick, a volunteer litter-picker, stated that although she picks the butts up all the time, this is the first time she's seen ducklings grabbing at their food.

"There are always cigarettes butts around these benches. People just smoke and then throw them on to the ground. It's quite a common sight unfortunately."

Jemma Bere, Keep Wales Tidy, warned that cigarette ends are made from cellulose acetate, a type plastic - and can pollute our waterways.

They can be mistakenly thought to be food and can prove fatal for wildlife.

She said that cigarettes can be left in the environment for up 15 years. They can then break down into small plastic pieces (called microplastics), which cannot be recovered.

RSPCA reported that the charity received nearly 8,000 calls about litter between 2020-2021.

This averages around 11 incidents per day. However, a spokesperson stated that they tend to peak during the summer months.

They said that some pet owners take their animals directly to the vets and many wild animals in distress are never found. This leads us to suspect that there may be more casualties than we know.

RSPCA officers are frequently called to respond to incidents involving animals that have been injured by broken glass, sharp objects, plastics, and even discarded toys.

Ms. Wick is a volunteer litter picker for five-years and she goes out once a week to clean up litter near her home.

She claimed that a duck was recently injured at Pentwyn lake, east of Cardiff, when a fishing hook punctured its face.

Ms Wick stated, "That's a common site unfortunately with the fishing that continues."

She said that litter was a major problem and she doesn't believe it is going away. "Definitely since lockdown, there have been more people in these areas. It is really getting worse.

Ms Bere is Keep Wales Tidy's Policy and Research Manager. She warned that even though cigarette ends are very small, they still count as litter, and can cause significant damage to our water, soils, and wildlife.

She said that they were very lightweight and difficult to transport because of their small size.

Yorum yapabilmek için üye girişi yapmanız gerekmektedir.

Üye değilseniz hemen üye olun veya giriş yapın.

NEXT NEWS