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REDUCTION IN LITTER INCIDENTS AFFECTING ANIMALS ON THE ISLE OF WIGHT

The number of animals affected by plastic litter in England and Wales is at an all-time high, but the number of incidents on the Isle of Wight remains fairly low, according to new RSPCA data.

The animal welfare charity has recorded a rise in incidents in the South East as a whole. There were 56 incidents involving plastic litter in 2015, but last year (2018) that rose to 77.

On the Isle of Wight, there were 3 general litter incidents on the Isle of Wight last year, 2 of which involved plastics. That is a 50% reduction in general litter-related incidents from 6 in 2015.

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RSPCA’s latest data also reveals that there are certain animals – especially those that live in water habitats – which are being affected disproportionately by plastic. For example, there has been a fourfold rise in seals affected by incidents involving plastic litter with 28 recorded across England and Wales in 2018 compared to just 5 in 2015.

RSPCA Head of Wildlife, Adam Grogan said:

“This shocking rise in plastic litter incidents suggests that plastic is a growing threat to animals.

“Every year, the RSPCA deals with increasing numbers of mammals, birds and reptiles that have become entangled or affected in some way by discarded plastic.  From seals with deep infected wounds caused by plastic frisbees cutting into their necks, to swans and geese trapped in fishing line or netting, plastic is clearly having an increasing impact on animal welfare.

“Our latest data sadly reflects the wider litter crisis taking place right now across the globe and action is urgently needed.  It’s up to every one of us to do our bit in the war against litter.”

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In the South East, incidents where animals have been affected by general litter have thankfully decreased but those of involving plastics have risen by 37%.

General litter incidents in the South East – number in brackets is the number of plastic incidents

County 2015 2016 2017 2018
Berkshire 30 (12) 22 (7) 17 (5) 18 (7)
Buckinghamshire 21 (7) 26 (9) 10 (5) 14 (1)
East Sussex 35 (7) 28 (10) 22 (4) 27 (9)
Hampshire 29 (6) 36 (8) 55 (21) 27 (10)
Isle of Wight 6 (2) 4 (1) 5 (1) 3 (2)
Kent 64 (9) 62 (19) 60 (18) 53 (23)
Oxfordshire 19 (4) 13 (5) 16 (7) 18 (9)
Surrey 32 (5) 25 (3) 24 (6) 27 (9)
West Sussex 27 (4) 17 (2) 28 (8) 25 (7)
Total 263 (56) 233 (64) 237 (75) 212 (77)

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