Meet the peanut-turtle!

This turtle (a red-eared slider) was found wandering the St. Louis area in 1993 with a six-pack ring trapped around his mid-section.

Due to the constriction of his shell, some of Peanut’s internal organs (his lungs, in particular) failed to grow properly. He was an easy pray for predators so he could not be released into nature.

turtle Peanut 6 packHe has become the official mascot for Missouri’s Department of Transportation and Department of Conservation’s anti-littering effort, a program called No MOre Trash.

This is what Peanut looks like now:

turtle Peanut 6 pack 2Whether it’s turtles in six-pack rings or squirrels in yogurt containers, what happens to our trash and how we dispose of it matters.

Here are a few other common household items to watch out for: any fishing line, or plastic lines, because animals can get tangledin them, not just in the water, but also birds or squirrels. And be mindful of balloons when they pop outside. Birds and other animals may ingest them and die.

Every little effort counts ! Remember to cut up plastic packaging in small pieces when you put them in the bin, and avoid using plastic bags or balloons.

More here: Upworthy-Peanut story

How 6-pack packages can be dangerous to animals

animal protection cut packagings

Plastic six-pack harnesses, used to hold cans of soda and beer, are a great hazard to birds, fish and other wildlife. The harnesses are especially dangerous in water where they are practically invisible. Birds fishing or feeding in the water can easily entangle their bills and necks in the strong plastic rings. This usually leads to strangulation or starvation. Pick up any plastic six-pack holder you find and cut or pull apart the rings and recycle it. If possible, avoid buying products wrapped in these holders; most beverages are available with other packaging.