What is one small thing everyone could do to have an impact on the world?

Always cut plastic rings before throwing them away.


Monk with plastic ring around snout

Plastic pollution has the biggest effect not on humans, but on helpless (often without arms or hands to free themselves) wildlife of the ocean or other waterways. Getting caught in trash can causing potential strangling or starvation.

The National Marine Mammal Laboratory reported in the 70’s, when this problem first starting being noticed, that plastic entanglement was the cause of death for more than 40,000 seals a year. Within the span of 30 years, the population of Northern Fur Seals declined by 50 percent. If the entanglement wasn’t the cause of death, exhaustion, starvation or indigestion was.

It is unfortunate that these animals are helpless in their defense against the trash. Just because we may not directly feel the effects of this pollution doesn’t mean that it is not damaging lives

Plastic six-pack harnesses, used to hold cans of soda and beer, are a great hazard to birds, fish and other wildlife. The harnesses are especially dangerous in water where they are practically invisible. Birds fishing or feeding in the water can easily entangle their bills and necks in the strong plastic rings.

One small cut from humanity, one animal’s life saved for the wild!

It takes less than 10 seconds to cut the rings apart. Those 10 seconds will be well invested, I promise. And if you have 5 more seconds to spare, make sure to cut the rings around your plastic bottles (e.g. milk, Gatorade, juice bottles).

Some companies make the six pack rings perforated so you just have to pull the tab on the perforation. If you do this as you release each drink it’s just the two middle holes that will need to be cut.

Why not just throwing them in the recycling bin? Less than 3/4 of what you put in the recycling bin will actually be recycled.  The material that plastic rings are made out of do not meet the requirements to be recycled. Many of them will end up at landfills.  Landfills are full of birds and other creatures looking for food.

You can also consider NOT BUYING DRINKS THAT HAVE PLASTIC RINGS. Thank you!