The UK’s growing litter problem is significantly impacting the way dog owners conduct their walks with over a quarter of owners (26%) fearful that their dog could die whilst out on their daily walk!
This alarming statistic came from a survey recently conducted by Agria. We surveyed a diverse group of dog owners across the UK, delving into their concerns regarding the UK's litter problem and its effects on their dogs. The respondents expressed several worries, including ingestion resulting in internal organ damage (54%), cuts and wounds (43%), ingestion resulting in choking (42%) and intoxication resulting from exposure to dangerous substances (37%).
A third (32%) of owners worry that their dog will come to serious harm, whilst 29% admit to changing their routes to avoid litter and a further 29% refusing to take their dog off their lead in certain areas.
The study also identified the types of litter that owners fear the most in terms of posing a significant threat to both dogs and the environment.
- Sharp objects such as glass (68%)
- Discarded food items, such as meat bones (38%)
- Drug paraphernalia, such as syringes (35%)
- Plastic waste (34%)
- Vapes (31%)
Respondents most frequently noticed litter on the street (52%), in parks/recreational grounds (44%) and in woodland areas (44%).
The results of this research highlight the urgency of adopting sustainable practices to combat the litter problem in areas frequented by dog walkers to create safer and more enjoyable environments for dogs and their owners. This includes increased public awareness, responsible disposal of litter, and improved waste management systems.
It only takes a second to pick up a couple of pieces of litter on our daily dog walks, and with 12 million of us in the UK, out a couple of times a day, it really does add up - actually reducing the amount of litter dropped, as studies show that fewer people drop litter when areas are clean.
To further awareness of this prominent issue, Agria has partnered with Paws On Plastic, a UK charity (no. SCO51306) dedicated to environmental stewardship, bringing invaluable expertise and a proven track record in fostering positive change.
Paws on Plastic encourages dog owners to pick up a couple of pieces of litter on walks to protect animals, communities and the environment. It also educates on the consequences of littering.