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Kill plastic carrier bags - not wildlife

PUBLISHED: 12:19 19 March 2008 | UPDATED: 14:27 14 July 2010

Plastic carrier bags kill wildlife and we should all make an effort to stop using them.

That's the blunt message from South Norfolk countryside rangers, who are urging residents and retailers to support the district council's 'Say No to Plastic Bags' campaign.

Plastic carrier bags kill wildlife and we should all make an effort to stop using them.

That's the blunt message from South Norfolk countryside rangers, who are urging residents and retailers to support the district council's 'Say No to Plastic Bags' campaign.

Head Ranger Steve Hammond said he and his colleagues have seen the damage done to wildlife by litter and plastic carrier bags, and have had to deal with wildlife killed and injured in this way

“Someone will throw away a sandwich in a plastic shopping bag, and an animal or a bird will scavenge the food. They can ingest part of that bag and, once it gets trapped in the animal or bird's throat, they can face an agonising death,” he explained.

“Bags are also thrown into our rivers or they blow into ponds where swans feed under water. It is not difficult for a swan to get a plastic bag wrapped around its neck. And as it pulls back out of water, the bag could snag on a root or tree branch, and that could lead to a fatality.”

An image of two swans fighting over the tatters of a plastic carrier bag has been chosen by council chairman, Joe Mooney, to illustrate the dangers and to help drive home the message behind the aims of the campaign. It is included on the authority's website which gets more than 20,000 hits a week.

Mr Mooney said: “I make no apologies for using an image like this to remind people of the threat to wildlife. It is disturbing because you do not need much of an imagination to guess what could happen once the plastic tears in two.

“I urge residents and retailers to go to the website, read about the alternatives to these bags, let us know your stories and send us your pictures of plastic bags that you may have seen scattered around our district.”

The website address is www.south-norfolk.gov.uk

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