Due to the rise in posts and online conversations about this issue I guess it's not just me that is noticing more elastic bands along our pavements than before.Of course they could've been dropped by anyone but we know the majority are being littered(either accidentally or on purpose) by Royal Mail postal workers.They use two distinct sizes, a 3" and a 6" band with the same 4mm and 5mm width respectively.
My collection picked up over the last 4 days whilst working in the local villages.
All were still intact and reusable except one.
These recklessly discarded rubber bands are a potential death trap to our Hedgehogs and other Wildlife.Hedgehogs seem to suffer the most, becoming entangled or stuck to them.It can prove fatal.As the Hedgehog grows it's flesh envelops the rubber band and becomes infected while cutting deeper and deeper into the poor animal's body.
Small mammals and birds can also suffer fatal injuries from encountering elastic bands and I've also read reports of pet owners having to rescue their Cat or Dog from choking on them.
Royal Mail use 2 Million elastic bands daily and spent £5 Million buying in 4 Billion over a 5 year period.Just using the standard 3" band and putting them end to end you could traverse the Earth 8 times.RM also admit that discarded elastic bands are costing them around £3000 per day.You already know who is paying for that deficit through inflated postage prices.
During the "Keep Britain Tidy" campaign, Tens of Thousands of elastic bands were picked up from pavements, driveways and verges by the public.Royal Mail tried resolving the issue by using a more biodegradable red band, but most areas are now back using the original brown ones.Is this because their "red" band stock is low or is it to try and disguise the fact that their workers are the culprits for the constant littering of these bands in our villages, towns and cities?
I understand that not all postmen and women get rid of their elastic bands by littering and some areas we work in repeatedly, we have seen no discarded bands whatsoever.The majority of postal workers probably are environmentally conscious.
Surely though something must be done to reduce this careless littering and help protect our already declining British Wildlife.Maybe a littering fine for Royal Mail? Have the public report to them when they continually find discarded elastic bands in a certain area so the individual can be reprimanded?
Until something is done I urge you to pick up any elastic bands you find, re-use them yourself or cut and discard them in a proper way.You could even write a letter and post the bands with it to your local sorting office.Below is the Royal Mail complaints link so feel free to drop them an email showing your concern on this growing problem.
Please collect any elastic bands you see and help save our Wildlife from an agonising death.
Thank you for reading.