This device is very common since bottled drinks with wide mouths exploded onto the market a few years ago. But the device can have devastating effects on wildlife that encounter them.
<–To the left is a common juice or milk bottle with an example of the device.
The device is also on big juice bottles that you might buy for your family.–>
When you crack open the lid of the bottle and it breaks the seal, you now have a plastic lid, a bottle and a ring.
The ring is the main culprit. It is made of thick plastic and often has barbs inside it.
When the ring falls off the bottle it becomes: Dangerous Disposable Device #3!
If a small creature encounters a ring and somehow gets it around part of its body, getting it back off again could be next to impossible, especially with the barbs that are on so many of them.
What they can do to wildlife
Plastic garbage is being found all over our communities and all over the world. Even when we try to get it in the trash, animals can break open bags or tip over cans and items can escape.
Here is a terrible example of what can happen:
This poor Fairy Penguin slowly starved to death because of the ring it got around its neck.
In another case, a duck died in St. John’s, Newfoundland when it got one around its head and neck. People tried for a week to help it but it was too afraid to let anyone near.
We can end up with a lot of rings if we buy a lot of drinks in plastic bottles. Some suggestions to reduce the risks to wildlife:
- Reduce or eliminate plastic juice and pop bottle purchases. There are other ways to have a tasty beverage.
- Use the rings for craft projects. They are very durable. Here’s one idea for a doll clothing accessory: headband.
- Last resort: cut them in half before disposing of them.
Who knew you’d have to use a simple drink bottle ‘responsibly’? But it turns out we do. Wildlife depends on it. Plastic is an amazing invention and humans are very creative with it. We also now know that we must also be careful with it.
Did you know about the risks these rings pose to animals? Have you been cutting them up for years? Please click the “comments” link below and share your experience with this little piece of plastic.