Nearly everything we buy today comes in a bag, bottle, box, or package that will immediately be discarded as soon as we open our goods. However, just because this trash is out of our sight, doesn’t mean it disappears. Rather, all of it adds up in our oceans, landfills, forests and more, resulting in major environmental problems. With over 300 million tons of plastic produced and nearly 8.8 million tons getting dumped into the oceans annually, it is clear that our disposable products are anything but.

All of this trash doesn’t just impact our quality of life in the way of litter and trash heaps, it’s also harming animal species. When it comes to plastic, there are around 700 marine species currently facing with extinction due to entanglement, pollution, and ingestion. And while plastic makes up 80 percent of the trash currently floating in the oceans, it is hardly the only refuse that can be found clogging up the world’s open spaces. Clearly, we are facing a major challenge here and as Green Monsters, and all around concerned global citizens, we have an opportunity to make a difference.

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We can all help reduce our impact at the source by minimizing the amount of trash and plastic waste create every day.  In an effort to help people become more aware of their trash habits and to encourage litter reduction, the supermarket chain, Lidl UK in collaboration with photographer Chris Peckham has launched an incredible ad campaign showing the effects our trash has on wildlife.

The supermarket chain will be donating more than £500,000 (over $700,000) 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 and improve their local parks and green spaces. Check out the stunning images below:

Birds typically choose to perch on trees, but this one sits atop a pile of glass bottles.

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Discarded after a few minutes, a swarm of pigeons circle a fast food container on a city street. 

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This may appear to be just a collection of aluminum cans, but look closely and see a bird frozen among the litter.

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In this photo, a sea otter swims up to several car tires that lay floating in a river. 

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Discarded plastic casing, like this, is a major threat to marine and small land animal species.

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Instead of nuts, this squirrel is seen foraging for food among a mountain of discarded fast food trash.

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Hopefully, by documenting this problem, people will become more aware of how their litter impacts wildlife and make a change in their habits.

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A lone plastic balloon is seen on a rainforest floor, showing the far-reaching impact of our debris.

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As the leading organization at the forefront of the conscious consumerism movement, One Green Planet believes that reducing everyday plastics and other unnecessary waste from our lives is not about giving up anything or sacrificing convenience, but rather learning to reap the maximum benefit from the items you use every day while having the minimum impact.

If we all make an effort to identify where we use plastic and actively look for alternatives, we can drastically cut down on the amount of plastic and trash pollution that finds its way into the oceans and other ecosystems.

Want to reduce your own plastic and trash habit?  Join One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic movement to learn how.

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Let’s #CrushPlastic! Click the graphic below for more information.

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All image source: Chris Packham/Lidl UK