How Trash is Killing Thousands of Animals Every Day

Recently, a sperm whale was found dead with 13 pounds of trash in its stomach. It had swallowed trash bags, flip flops, and 115 plastic cups. This is only one of thousands of cases reported all over the world. Today, we’ll look at those seemingly harmless everyday objects that are actually killing an alarming number of animals every day.

#15. Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Photo: Courtesy of Onegreenplanet

This area of the Pacific Ocean is rapidly becoming inundated with garbage. There is a massive soup of waste accumulating and floating in the water, composed of bottles, shopping bags, disposable razors, and more. 

Click on the next page to see what party item we consider essential is actually very dangerous. 

#14. Balloons

Photo: Courtesy of NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region

Believe it or not, balloons are extremely dangerous for marine life. Sea turtles mistake them for jellyfish and swallow them, with fatal results. 

Check out the next page to see what objects often found by the beach are fatal to many species.

#13. Fishing Line and Hooks

Photo: Courtesy of National Geographic

Along the shorelines, seabirds get entangled in fishing gear, which prevents them from flying and can cause crippling and deadly infections. Also, lead weights on fishing lines can poison those creatures that eat them.

#12 proves that smoking can not only kill you, but also animals.

#12. Cigarette Butts

Photo: Courtesy of National Geographic

It may have never occurred to you that something as innocuous as a cigarette butt could kill. However, the little stubs are full of nicotine, which is very dangerous for critters, and the filters are usually eaten by young birds which die with their bellies full of undigested cigarettes.

Check the next slide to see what other everyday object is deadly for animals.

#11. Soda Cans

Photo: Courtesy of National Geographic

Broken bottles usually cause cuts to the feet and paws of animals. Beer and soda cans can cause deep cuts in animals that reach their paws or heads inside, looking for food or water.

A healthy snack is a deadly one for some animals. Check #10 to find out what it is.

#10. Yogurt Cups

Photo: Courtesy of National Geographic

When trying to lick the remains from a yogurt cup or a jar, the animal’s head can be stuck inside. If unable to free themselves, they’ll unfortunately starve to death.

Check the next page to see what item usually kills lizards looking for shelter.

#9. Glass Bottles

Photo: Courtesy of National Geographic

There are plenty of hazards that affect creatures on dry land. Lizards are often lured into abandoned bottles, but often can’t get out. The glass may make it impossible for them to get traction, and they usually die when temperatures inside the bottle rises.

You might find yourself doing #8 without thinking of its consequences…

#8. Food Remains

Photo: Courtesy of National Geographic

Food tossed on the side of the road lures many animals to their death, as they can be struck and killed by passing cars.

Up next, an item that kills both land and sea animals.

#7. Soda Rings

Photo: Courtesy of National Geographic

Six-packs of soda often come with plastic rings, which cause animals to get their heads stuck in them. To prevent this, you can cut apart all sections of the rings before throwing them away.

#6 features a type of candy that can actually harm animals.

#6. Gum

Photo: Courtesy of Del Armva

When animals step in gum, it can become matted in their fur or feathers, which can stop them from moving. 

We are reaching the Top #5 most dangerous items. Don’t miss it!

#5. Plastic Bags

Photo: Courtesy of Onegreenplanet

Marine creatures usually mistake trash for food, and usually choke on plastic bags. If they manage to swallow them, they can cause fatal stomach or bowel obstructions.

Ever thought about the damage a tiny bottle cap can do? Click on the next slide to find out.

#4. Bottle Caps

Photo: Courtesy of Ocean Hour

Turtles that eat bottle caps can develop a condition known as bubble butt—the trapped gas caused by the decomposition of marine debris causes the turtles to float. This leads to starvation, and makes them an easy target for predators.

The Top #3 is here. And it may shock you.

#3. Impact on Specific Species

Photo: Courtesy of National Audubon Society

An estimated 98% of albatross have plastic in their stomachs. Once the plastic is inside, it may fill up the stomach, preventing them from eating and drinking water, and it can also puncture their internal organs.

Check the next page to see what ingredient found in cosmetics is actually deadly.

#2. Microbeads

Photo: Courtesy of National Geographic

Microbeads, which are banned in several countries at the moment, are small spherical beads found in cosmetic products. They often slip through waste-water treatment plants and end up in the sea, which transports toxic chemicals into marine organisms.

Make sure you don’t miss #1.

#1. Plastic Straws

Photo: Courtesy of Earth Touch

Plastic straws were recently banned in Europe due to the harsh impact they have on the environment and wildlife. For example, they may get stuck inside a trutle’s nostrils, causing them extreme pain.