Six-pack of cans- cutting packaging rings after use- still necessary?

I dunno about you guys, but as a kid, I remember seeing video of poor fishies dead on the beach, with their heads caught in the rings that hold together a six-pack of Coke cans. And the six-packs of half-liter bottles these days, as well. We were always taught to cut up the rings before discarding, so we wouldn’t sentence another fishy or furry animal to certain doom.

That said, is this still a necessary practice? Are we still dumping trash in places where animals are at risk (obviously, a landfill will attract its own little ecosystem, but I think six-pack rings are the least of their health risks)?

It was never necessary. The fish/birds/small rodents-caught-in-sixpack-rings thing was a myth. While it may have happened a couple times, there has never been any evidence that it’s a problem or that it even happens frequently. In fact, I believe Our Lord and Master has done a thing on this.

Ah yes, here we are: Should you cut up six-pack rings so they don’t choke sea birds?

Well, I have seen both a duck and a kitten with a soda ring thing stuck around their necks. Not grown into their flesh, but around their heads and not showing signs of coming off soon. I can see how the duck might have scooped its head on but the kitten . . . maybe a person did it. Anyway, for me, that’s enough to make me cut up any rings I toss out.

I’ve seen a squirrel with a six pack ring caught around his neck - just the one ring, so he maybe chewed off the rest? Anyway, while I did see this squirrel, I figured the ring had probably been littered in the first place, or it would have been harder for him to stick his head into it. Unless perhaps it was in a dumpster.

There was a Cecil column a few years back (I’m at work on a very slow computer so I can’t hit the archives) about “fifty simple things you can do to save the earth” which said something along the lines of maybe you should do a few harder but more effective things. The example given was to cut fishing snags off as close to the snag as possible.

I cut them up. Our local landfill is awash with seagulls, so it seems like a good idea. It’s not like it adds diffculty to my life or anything to do it.

Cats are squirmy. They’re always squeezing their way into boxes, bags, and other narrow openings. I can very easily see a cat, especially a cuious kitten, squirming its head into a six-pack ring.

After my kitten got stuck in a plastic bag bad enough to come looking for help, I could definitely see a kitten in a six pack ring.

Why not cut them up? Ten more seconds of your time to possibly save an animal from suffering?

“Why not cut them up?”

Why not? What is america coming to? The reason why not (well back in my day, youngin) was because you fold them up so they make one ring, put your pinkies in and; YAAAR, rip that sucker into shreds.

Now you kids get these mamby pamby ALUMINIUM cans that a ten year old can crush on his skull. Ya woosies, hell lemme tell ya about, whats that ma? Ok comin

Despite Cecil’s column … I don’t disagree with him that there are bigger problems we need to address, but still. I cut every single place where there’s a hole. It takes less than 30 seconds, so why not? And if a critter gets caught, it could die before the plastic biodegrades, as most animals aren’t addicted to sunbathing. :rolleyes: AIUI, it’s the sunlight that drives the biodegrading.

I also rinse out all glass, plastic or metal containers before trashing them, as critters can get stuck inside when they force their heads in trying to get what’s left inside. Mind you, it’s not the rats at the dump I worry about; it’s the birds, squirrels, dumped cats and dogs (yeah, people still do that, although I am dubious about their right to the term), and other critters who are just trying to survive.

All the more reason not to cut them. A few less flying rats is a good thing.

I woudn’t agree with that. I don’t like seagulls particularly nor sewer rats, but neither would I want them to be gotten rid of by slowly garroting them to death over a period of months. They’re gross, yes, but they’re just being what they are. Anyway, they’d probably not be one one-hundredth of the problem they are if people didn’t generate so much trash.

I suppose a kitten could get a ring stuck on his head; it’s just that the one I saw had a head a mite big to push through on his own unless he tried pretty hard. But he could have gotten it on his head as a smaller kitten too and then his little walnut brain never figured out how to get it off. I would not like to think a person did that to be deliberately cruel or “funny” but, for instance, here in the Boston area there was a story a few months back about a goose with an arrow stuck through its head. Someone finally caught it and upon x-raying it was discovered the poor thing had been shot many times - 12 or more - at various times - with a pellet gun. So I don’t put anything past humans and their capacity to hurt creatues who can’t fight back.

As to Cecil’s column, there are many more important things to worry about. But it doesn’t take any time to cut up the rings so it doesn’t bother me to do it.