Dumped face masks have become a new hazard to wildlife since the pandemic started and we are receiving increased reports of animals tangled in the ear straps of single-use masks since it became law for the public to wear them in shops. 

This message comes as we back Keep Britain Tidy's Great British September Clean, which kicks off on 11 September and runs until 27 September. 

Most cases of litter affecting animals are preventable if rubbish is disposed of properly and responsibly.

Our top tips to protect wildlife from litter:

  • Recycle and reuse as much as possible - and put everything else in the bin.
  • Cut the loop handles of plastic carrier bags before recycling to prevent animals being tangled.
  • Cut plastic can holders and elastic bands so animals can't get caught up.
  • Cut up balloons before putting them in the bin.
  • Cut up disposable gloves and snip the straps on face masks to prevent animals getting tangled.
  • Clean and empty containers after use and pinch cans shut or cut containers in half before recycling.