You’ve probably clicked on this article because you’re a pet owner that loves animals. Or maybe you’ve read our previous blog that explained how recycling protects animals and humans. Whatever your reason for reading, we’re here to educate people about the types of recyclable waste that are harmful to pets and animals.

Does Recycling Harm Animals?

Animals of all shapes and sizes are at risk of harming themselves when it comes to any form of litter, even chew toys can be dangerous! There are ways you can reduce the likelihood of litter harming animals by helping improve recycling efforts in your community in various ways. As for your pets, you don’t necessarily have to worry about litter as much as wild animals do. However, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t in danger of getting hurt. Anyone with a puppy will tell you that anything and everything not tied down is at risk of being chewed. If there’s recyclable waste laying out in the open not properly stored in a commercial recycling bin, your pet could end up harming themselves. [caption id="attachment_10141" align="alignnone" width="600"]does recycling harm pets plastic straws are not chew toys![/caption]

Recyclable Waste That’s Harmful to Pets

These everyday items can potentially injure your pets if they’re not properly recycled:
  1. Aluminum and tin cans (pets can get cut on the cans’ sharp edges)
  2. Styrofoam (this can be a harder material to recycle compared to other recyclables, but styrofoam is a huge choking hazard and poisonous to pets)
  3. Glass cups and jars (hungry or curious pets can get their heads stuck in these easily)
  4. Plastic bags and bottles (plastic bags can be harmful if mistakenly eaten, or cause suffocation in rare cases. Microplastics from bottles can also be ingested if chewed on)
  5. Fishing line and hooks (click here to see what can be done to mitigate the risks)
While it’s important to prevent recyclable waste from harming pets and animals directly, not recycling in general harms animals indirectly. If we don’t recycle many of the habitats animals reside in will be taken away because of our need for more natural resources. You can read about why landfills are becoming an increasingly popular place to source raw materials from here because people aren’t recycling properly. Air pollution and water pollution caused by littering can harm humans, animals, and pets alike. how to prevent pets from eating garbage

Organic Waste That’s Harmful to Pets

As much as we like to think of our pets as living compost bins, feeding them these things can do them more harm than good:
  • Spoiled food (potential to cause illness)
  • Paper products (used paper towels can be contaminated with harmful chemicals)
  • Diapers (you definitely don’t want your pet to get their paws or mouths on these!)
If you haven’t thought about it already, consider investing in a commercial recycling bin with a lid to prevent your pets AND wild animals from harming themselves. We can’t always prevent mishaps and mistakes from happening, but the more you educate yourself on the everyday hazards that pets commonly face the more you can prevent it. One non-waste-related hazard that pets face is certain types of essential oils used in diffusers. Be careful, and don’t forget to appreciate your pets!

Looking for more green recycling tips? Check out these other blogs: 

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