Postman's 'irresponsible' act that's harming animals and the environment

·News Reporter
·2-min read

An Aussie man has shared the single thing that frustrates him most about living at the end of his street, and it's all to do with a simple act played out by a postman.

The dad, believed to be from South Australia, shared a photo of his front garden littered with thick red rubber bands, but there's a much bigger concern at hand – its impact on the environment.

"Frustrates me that because I live so close to the end of the street I cop all the discarded rubber bands in my front yard," he wrote in an Australia Post Facebook group.

front garden of home with red rubber bands
A man shared images of his front garden on Facebook showing the discarded rubber bands. Source: Facebook

His issue, presumably, is that there's no more bundled mail by the time the postman reaches his home, and he claims the bands are dumped right there in his garden – intentionally or by accident.

Australia Post uses rubber bands to bundle mail together, so their bags or carts are most likely filled with them.

But someone delivering catalogues or brochures could use them too, meaning there's an even higher chance that some are dropped.

'Irresponsible' act harming wildlife

Regardless of who's responsible for the alleged dumping, one person pointed out the serious harm they could do to local animals.

"How irresponsible," they commented, adding they could easily get tangled around the necks of rodents or other native wildlife.

Jeff Angel, founder of Total Environment Centre agrees and told Yahoo News Australia that staff "should be trained to be more responsible".

"The main impacts are that birds feed them to their chicks and they're a major choking hazard," he said.

"If ingested, it can block smaller animals' throats, and as with other plastic, fills their stomach, disrupting digestion and causing them to starve."

Delivery people, including Australia Post, use rubber bands that are harmful to the environment. Source: Getty
Delivery people, including Australia Post, use rubber bands that are harmful to the environment. Source: Getty

Not only that but rubber bands can wrap around the necks or legs of birds and other animals, including marine life.

Lost hair ties also a 'significant problem'

Like rubber bands, lost hair ties are a major threat to animals, particularly platypus.

Discarded or lost ties have claimed the lives of several platypus in recent years, including a juvenile female at Bright in Victoria.

She suffered injuries so “horrendous" she had to be euthanised, but she's not the only one.

Geoff Williams from Australian Platypus Conservancy previously told Yahoo that litter is a "significant problem” impacting the species, with hair ties emerging as one of the most deadly items.

Animals aside, Mr Angel said hair ties and rubber bands "last many decades as litter", so they should be used sparingly.

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