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Inspiration

Wildlife Photographer Beautifully Captures the Devastating Impact of Litter In Nature

By Will Nicholls on February 26th 2016

British natural history television presenter and wildlife photographer, Chris Packham has unveiled a series of images documenting the plight of nature against litter. The pictures were commissioned by the supermarket chain Lidl UK, which will be donating £500,000 ($696,072) from the proceeds of its single-use carrier bag charge to a new initiative with Keep Britain Tidy designed to inspire young people to reduce litter and waste to improve their local parks and green spaces.

This is a great example of the benefit of the recent introduction of compulsory carrier bag charges in the UK.

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Packham said at the launch of the initiative: ‘People who litter are unwittingly helping to kill and injure the wildlife we all love. As a naturalist, I’m only too aware of mankind’s impact on the natural world and litter is one very visible example of this. Not only is it unsightly but it seriously affects wild animals both on land and in our oceans.

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There is also an eBay auction where you can buy images from his collection, with the proceeds going to the charity.

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A European otter amongst discarded tires shows that even those living secluded lives in our river systems are affected by litter.

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Taken in the British Wildlife Center, this photo of a red squirrel amongst fast food litter is staged, but the point the image makes is strong.

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Packham said, ‘I was delighted to be asked to explore this issue through the camera lens, juxtaposing the inherent beauty of our natural world with the ugliness of the litter and rubbish carelessly discarded each and every day. Through these images, I hope to inspire people to dispose of their litter more responsibly and play their part in caring for the fabulously diverse wildlife that enriches us all.

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Keep Britain Tidy chief executive, Allison Ogden-Newton, said: ‘We know that the majority of children and young people do care about their environment and don’t drop litter. The support of Lidl, through the donation of the proceeds from the single-use bag charge, will help us engage with those young people and create a generation of young people who not only care about their environment but are also equipped to do something to help.

CREDITS: Photographs by Chris Packham / Lidl UK / Keep Britain Tidy  are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.

Will Nicholls is a professional wildlife photographer and film-maker from the UK. He is the founder of Nature TTL, a nature photography blog filled with tutorials, inspirational features and kit reviews. You can download his free eBook: 10 Top Tips to INSTANTLY Improve Your Nature Photos.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Dave Haynie

    When I was in Arizona over Christmas, I started doing the same thing — shooting litter (and then bagging it and taking it with me). But to my delight, it turned out to be a pretty short project. Some of the trails and hills I climbed near Phoenix were pretty full of the stuff, but as I traveled out to other, more distance places, it became rare.

    Very sad anyway… also, it’s very sad how people either don’t care to pick up, or just integrate it so well in their minds that they ignore it. I found a few bits of plastic — drink lids, etc. — that had been out long enough that they basically disintegrated when I tried to pick ’em up (got most the pieces, anyway).

    When I was a kid, I saw a TV show with Pete Seeger being interviewed. They asked him about always pickup up trash, and he said something to the effect of, well, if you see it and leave it there, you might as well have dropped it there yourself. That one stuck with me all these years.

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  2. Xavier Rodriguez

    These are so incredibly well shot.

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  3. Liam Doran

    powerful work

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  4. Gareth Roughley

    Very impactful

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  5. Bruno Fujii

    Extremely sad.

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