LITTER can kill, the RSPCA has warned.
The animal charity has issued the alert as it backs a Clean Up Britain campaign to change attitudes and behaviour towards litter.
The charity responds to 7,000 calls about wildlife, farm animals and pets being hurt, trapped or killed by carelessly dumped rubbish every year, but it believes the figure is only the tip of the iceberg as many people take animals directly to vets and injured wildlife may never be found.
RSPCA Sustainability and Social Responsibility Manager Helen Ball said: “What makes this issue so frustrating is that it is just so avoidable.
“Animals are dying or being really badly hurt just because people prefer to hurl things out of a car window or drop them on the ground than wait until they get to a bin.
“A simple tin or elastic band can be a real death trap when left in the street or the countryside, where many people walk their dogs and wildlife lives.
“The message is stark but simple — litter is lethal. All it takes is for people to thrown their rubbish away properly for such needless destruction to stop.”
Common causes of injury are balloons, glass, plastic bags, fishing tackle, small containers and cans, plastic can holders and elastic bands.