Plastic. It’s in so many things we use. Plastic storage containers. Plastic water bottles. Plastic food containers. Plastic bags.
I’m sure you’ve already heard about the problems with certain chemicals in plastic potentially causing harm if ingested. A single piece of plastic may contain up to 30 chemicals that can leach into food. How did they learn these chemicals were harmful? By testing them on animals, of course. So if you won’t use the container to heat or eat in, your beloved dog or cat shouldn’t either.
Plastic materials make up between 60 to 80% of total marine debris, and since plastics last for years and years, it’s not going away without intervention. Tens of thousands of animals are killed each year from ingesting plastic, and those deaths are often slow and painful.
And it’s not just ingesting plastic that can be problematic. Jen buys our food in large bags. Those bags could trap an animal looking for a meal.
So what can I do to reduce the amount of plastics out there harming animals?
Endangered Species International lists ways we can each help:
- Refuse– avoid single-use and disposable plastic products
- Reduce– use less plastic by looking for degradable packaging or buying in bulk
- Reuse– invest in steel or glass containers that can be reused safely
- Recycle– recycle when possible, but keep in mind that not all plastics can be recycled
- Educate with a Smile– nobody wants to be preached at our hounded!
If you must throw away plastic bags, especially food containers, cut them first so they are less likely to trap a wild animals looking for a meal.
I found some great tips for reusing those pet food bags online. Try here and here.
What tips do you have to help reduce the amount of plastics that are harming animals?
37 thoughts on “The Problem With Pets and Plastics”
This is a great post, I agree. And some great tips for re-using/recycling dog food bags.
This is not necessarily a direct plastic related. I have seen a snake got stuck in a plastic net that people placed in the lawn to hold the ground or grass (?) together. It was sad to see that. I was so scare and at the same time wanted to help the poor snake. I did get it free to move but it still had the thin nylon net around the body 😦
That is very sad, and it is SO related to what we’re talking about here. Thanks for reminding us of the need to be more mindful in everything we do!
A woman who worked at the shelter I vol’d at was very well up on all aspects of animal welfare etc..this was her life…she was shattered and never got over the guilt when one of her much loved dogs got into a large bag of kibble and she found him dead..he had suffocated…we put all kibble into large kids wheelie bin toy tubs due to the lesson we learnt. And like the post above we have removed all the fruit netting we have found that previous owners put down to trap snakes..it is a hideous way to die and actually more dangerous as a pet seeing a trapped snake will surely get bitten..we have a company that makes nets for fruit trees that are friendly so bats etc cannot get stuck in the nets…we have placed a metal snake mesh around the yard fence no snake can fit and it is safe.
Iknow …very tragic 😦
I’ve cut way back on the amount of disposable containers I bring into the house..the simplest thing to do was to stop buying bottled water…and I’m lucky in that our city has a great single stream recycling program that makes it extra easy
That’s awesome!!! You rock Gizmo!
I agree with Gizmo, we don’t buy bottled water and I only rarely buy things where the plastic-package is bigger than the product ( razor blades by gillette – shame on you P&G for this plastic waste, and shame on you Nestlé for the plastic capsules)
You tell ’em, Easy!
Thanks for this post, very informative!
Thanks! It’s been on my mind awhile.
It’s not so good for the hooman folks either!
Indeed it’s not!
And don’t forget — using saranwrap to cover stuff in the microwave is bad for all of us, too. I usually use a sheet of wax paper or just a paper towel. Also, the lining of a bag of kibble is usually a thin plastic — good for trapping moisture and growing mold. UGH! Since we got our first fridge with the water/ice dispenser, I’ve been refilling the plastic bottles instead of buying the bottled water. I do have to get a steel bottle though one of these days and take those old plastic bottles to the recycling bin next to the liquor store.
I have several steel water bottles that were given out as bling at conferences or conventions.
Well….we havn’t heard about the problems with certain chemicals in plastic….*blush* But after reading today’s post, it makes us realized that we have to be more careful those risky plastics.
Yes, Kevin, the problem is we’re not sure how bad they are, but we know some, like BPH, are very harmful.
Thank you for this reminder.
We tend to buy things and not consider the packaging.
Thanks to this post, we will take a closer look at the things we buy
to ensure we do not harm animals and the environment
.Purrs Tillie and Georgia,
Treasure,Tiger, JJ and Julie
Jen does the same thing. She has me to remind her too!
We’ve cut way back on the amoutn of plastic we use in an effort to help. But it’s difficult to give all of it up.
WE are TRYING to reduce the amt. of plastic we use… butt it is REALLY hard beclaws MORE and MORE stuffs is done in PLASTIC.
Another idea to keep animals from being trapped in large dog food bags that we throw away is to cut off the bottoms of each bag. 🙂 Great article.
My mommy threw away our plastic bowls and switched us to stainless steel after we were getting chin acne. Who’da thunked? I even had to go to the vets because my acne was getting bad. So yes, even eating from plastic bowls is not too good.
Our Malachi got a fat lip and we found it it was caused by the plastic bowl he ate out of! ACK!
Plastic drives me crazy. It ends up in our bay/lake/gulf where fish and birds can grab it and they die from eating it or getting trapped by it. Not good for humans either. Great post
Thank you! I don’t like all that plastic either!
Mam buys our food 50 lbs at a time, and Rabbit food 20 lbs at a time. Then she turns the bags into reusable grocery bags so she doesn’t bring home plastic bags from the store. These bags that she sews get emptied, folded and put back in her truck for the next trip.
That’s a great idea!
Excellent post, Rumpy!! OurPeople didn’t realize that animals could get trapped in big kibble bags. We’ll make sure they cut them in half lengthwise from now on! They go through three or four a week feeding their community cat colonies. One thing they do is buy things in bulk or cardboard, then transfer to big glass containers and recycle the cardboard. They also don’t buy those skinny-necked Yoplait yogurt cartons. OurGirl once got sprayed when she helped a skunk whose head was stuck inside one. She said it was more than worth it to see the skunk toddle off into the bushes.
Ewwwww!!!!! I believe in helping whenever possible, but I think i’d have made her stay outside after that!
We like to do our bit that’s why all our smaller UK bags are paper with a compostable plant based lining, which can be broken down in a similar way to kitchen peelings! We like to think it’s a start!!
That’s a fantastic start!
I always try to cut up any discarded plastic that an animal might become trapped in. I’ve been using plastic pet food bags that can be resealed for catbox scoopings. My feeling is that the scent of waste is a territorial marker in the wild and would deter animals from checking out that particular plastic. The same goes for a tied up plastic bag of kitty waste.
correction, bags of kitty waste.
We stopped using bottled water about ten years ago. Only if in a foreign country do we ever buy bottled water. We have always cut up plastic soda packaging because we have for 30 years been supporting and helping with marine mammals, fish, etc. We pick up plastic whenever we take hikes, walk on the beach…done that for over 30 years…and we recycle our grocery plastic…but mostly we have our own bags and only take paper ones…have to figure what to do with using plastic bags for storage and freezing stuff…working on that