A Suffolk campaigner has warned that littering out of laziness is a "potential death trap" for wildlife and small animals.

Jason Alexander, founder of Rubbish Walks, has spoken of "heart-breaking" discoveries of wildlife - foxes, mice, and other small mammals - trapped in plastic and glass bottles.

The comments were made as the National Highways launches a new campaign, supported by the RSPCA and Keep Britain Tidy, urging road users to bin their litter.

Mr Alexander, who has been litter-picking and organising community events for tackling litter for more than a decade, describes seeing injured, trapped, or dead animals in discarded litter every time he organises an event.

East Anglian Daily Times: Litter on the A12.Litter on the A12.

According to the animal welfare charity, the RSPCA has received more than 10,000 reports of animals found in these conditions due to dropped litter in last 3 years, an average of nearly 10 a day.

Mr Alexander said: "It is something we see all the time, several times a week, particularly with rubbish being thrown out of windows on roadside verges.

East Anglian Daily Times: Jason Alexander of Rubbish WalksJason Alexander of Rubbish Walks (Image: Newsquest)

"These verges are a haven for wildlife and we find bottles and cans with small mammals trapped inside them.

"Whenever we are out, which is several times a week, we will find an animal that has been trapped. If you do a decent-length litter pick, it is something you will come across.

"Even when you see this every week, it still affects you. These little animals would not have suffered, or come to their end, if it wasn't for lazy people not disposing of their rubbish correctly."

Even throwing a biodegradable fruit peel or apple core can have an impact, according to the RSPCA.

The new campaign, which urges road users to ‘Lend a paw – bin your litter’, found in a survey that many do not regard biodegradable food as litter, and nearly half were unaware that fruit peel and apple cores fall into the litter category.

Almost a third of them believed dropping organic waste like an apple core or leftover food on the road was beneficial to wildlife.

"Wildlife is attracted to it," Mr Alexander added. "Where they are thrown in areas that are heavily littered, these species are more likely to become trapped.

"Every type of litter that we drop is a potential death trap for wildlife, it doesn't matter what size - if it is small, it is likely to be eaten and mistaken for food, and if it is larger, the larger the animal it is likely to affect.

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East Anglian Daily Times: Mr Alexander campaigns to clear Suffolk's streetsMr Alexander campaigns to clear Suffolk's streets (Image: Newsquest)

"We see seabirds wrapped in rubbish on beaches, particularly balloons and ribbons, and it's not just wildlife, it can affect pets as well. It's heart-breaking."

He said that what he has seen has been so distressing that he has written poetry on the subject of a mouse trapped in a bottle.

East Anglian Daily Times: A swan impacted by plastic litter.A swan impacted by plastic litter. (Image: RSPCA)

RSPCA lead wildlife officer Geoff Edmond added: “We welcome National Highways’ campaign to raise awareness about the dangers wildlife faces from litter discarded by the roadside.

“Our rescuers deal with thousands of incidents every year where animals have been impacted by litter.

"Old drinks cans and bottles, plastic items and even disposable vapes are just some of the items that pose a danger to our wildlife including hedgehogs, squirrels, deer and foxes.

"Animals can ingest the litter, become trapped in it or be attracted to old food on the roadside which puts them in danger of moving vehicles.

“Sadly, for every animal we’re able to help there are probably many others that go unseen, unreported and may even lose their lives.

“But it’s really easy for the public to help. When people are out on the roads, we urge them to hold on to their litter until there is an opportunity to dispose of it safely and responsibly - or recycle where appropriate.

"As we all strive to create a better world for every animal, this could save an animal’s life."