People are very aware these days that all different types of waste can have negative consequences for the environment such as methane seeping into the atmosphere and landfills rendering vast areas of land unusable for decades after the landfill sites close, but what about the impact that our waste can have upon wildlife? Rubbish that is incorrectly disposed of can have catastrophic implications for animals in various habitats and more can be done to help stop this.
Discarded plastics, fishing nets and industrial waste are a common problem in the oceans of our planet and an estimated 8 million tonnes of plastic alone are thought to end up in the oceans every single year. Sportswear giant Adidas has recently joined forces with Parley for the Oceans in a move which will see them recycling plastic waste from the sea into their products from 2016 and the company also plans to phase out the use of plastic bags in its stores, which will go some way to help the problem. What issues are caused by waste in our waters though? Well, 86% of all sea turtle species, 44% of all seabird species and 43% of all marine mammal species are thought to be affected by entanglement in or ingestion of marine debris and those creatures can’t exactly call the emergency services to rescue them so many won’t survive.
On land, existing landfill sites take up valuable space which could otherwise be habitable for wildlife and when people litter, small animals can become trapped in packaging such as bottles and plastic bags whilst broken glass can cause serious injuries. Food waste that is composted instead of thrown away would actually provide meals for various birds as well as protecting the environment from harmful greenhouse gas emissions and the less waste that is sent to landfill, the fewer landfill sites are needed and thus fewer species will be forced to move their habitats and try to adjust to new environments or die trying.
It is clear to see that life on every level from plants to animals to humans is affected negatively by poor waste management, so as individuals, families and businesses we all have a social responsibility to try and reduce the amount of waste that we are disposing of. We can help you to see where improvements can be made to your waste management plans and find cost effective solutions for them.