Help protect Australia’s Wildlife

 Snip Rings for Wildlife: a new campaign to help protect Australia’s Wildlife.

Snip Rings for Wildlife aims to raise awareness and encourage individuals to protect Australia’s Wildlife, by cutting through plastic rings, rubber bands and hair ties before disposing of them. Each year, thousands of birds and air-breathing aquatic Wildlife such as platypus, turtles and water dragons are strangled, obtain significant injuries and often die horrific deaths from discarded litter. 

The President of the Australian Wildlife Society, Suzanne Medway AM, said “Wildlife often become entangled in plastic rings, rubber bands and hair ties that wrap around their beak or muzzle, preventing them from eating. These items can also tangle up their feet, wings, or fins, limiting their movement. Young animals can become entrapped in these items, and as they grow, these items cut into their flesh, sometimes amputating limbs or killing the animal“. 

Some jars, bottles, and tetra packs now come with a plastic ring that snaps apart from the lid upon opening (but many do not) or a peel-off seal under the cap. When the Australian Wildlife Society encounters a lid that does not snap, we contact the manufacturer, informing them of the danger that plastic rings, rubber bands and hair ties pose to native wildlife, encouraging companies to take action to improve their products for Australia’s Wildlife. Despite our efforts, many companies are not taking action, and Australia’s wildlife continues to fall victim to horrific deaths from discarded litter. 

A dolphin with nose trapped in plastic ring. Photo supplied

While we continue to urge companies to act, we turn to members of the community to ask for your support to protect Australia’s Wildlife and Snip Rings for Wildlife. It is important to remind ourselves that we can act, both as individuals and collectively, to bring about the important changes ourselves and protect Australia’s Wildlife. 

A turtle was found with a plastic ring around its midsection. Photo supplied

The Society is encouraging everyone to get behind and help promote the campaign by posting a video of themselves, on social media, snipping through a plastic ring, rubber band or hair tie before disposing of it. Please do not forget to use the hashtag #snipringsforwildlife. We also welcome community members to send a letter to companies that continue to produce plastic rings, rubber bands or hair ties, encouraging them to take action to improve their products for Australia’s Wildlife. The Society has created a template letter which can be found at www.aws.org.au/snip-rings-for-wildlife/ 

The Australian Wildlife Society, formed in 1909, is a national not-for-profit wildlife conservation organisation. Their mission is to conserve Australia’s Wildlife (flora and fauna) through national environmental education, political lobbying, advocacy and involvement of the community.