Ask Royal Mail to stop using rubber bands, at the Change petition. Add your voice. Rubber bands are dropped in their millions each year by posties (not their fault, it’s the policy to use them). But rubber bands are choking hazards. Hedgehogs get trapped in them, and ducks eat them, thinking they are worms (gulls often eat them and then regurgitate them for their chicks).
One man who found a rubber band in his cat’s litter tray wants Royal Mail fined £80 each time, for littering. We would rightly get fined if we dropped litter, so why not Royal Mail? Royal Mail uses around 2 million rubber bands each year. Like balloons, they do not biodegrade fast enough, to avoid harm to wildlife. And when they fall down storm drains and go into the sea, they harm whales, dolphins and endangered sea turtles.
Royal Mail’s response is to report a postie who drops a rubber band. This is unfair. No postie is deliberately dropping them, the onus is on Royal Mail to come up with a wildlife-friendly alternative and take responsibility. There are plenty of eco alternatives out there, that Royal Mail could use, like paper belly bands or biodegradable fabric wrap.
One hedgehog brought to a Hampshire wildlife hospital by a mother and daughter, had to be put to sleep 2 days later. After they found it stumbling around, it was found to have an elastic dropped rubber band that had been tightening around its body for all its life, gradually cutting off circulation, and causing an infection.