Image of duck with plastic lid around its neck prompts outrage online

By AG Staff 11 July 2018
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A photographers image of a duck with a plastic cap caught around its neck is a symbol of the current plastic pollution crisis in Australia.

“IT LOOKED like a device for tracking,” photographer Muneer Al Shanti first thought when he snapped this image of a Pacific duck (Anas superciliosa) at Lightning Swamp Bushland in Western Australia.

“But I started to question if there was any kind of tracking device that big used on birds, and if so, why was it around its neck.”

It wasn’t until he arrived home that he could see that the object around the ducks neck was in fact some type of plastic cap, possibly a disposable coffee cup lid.

“I played with the exposure of the shot and was disgusted to find that the duck had what looked like the top of a takeaway coffee cup around its neck,” he told Australian Geographic.

duck with coffe cup around its neck

(Image Credit: Muneer Al Shanti)

Muneer than posted the images on his personal Facebook page and a bird photography page as a warning about single-use plastics. “We should be very, very careful about where we throw our stuff,” he wrote.

“I have started cutting anything that is round like plastic that holds a six pack cans together, even the little pull tab on the milk cartons,” one man commented.

“Reinforces the reason I pick up all the plastics I can,” said another.

On the post, Muneer confirmed that he had forwarded the exact location of the duck to the authorities and that a volunteer from WA Seabird Rescue had agreed to go out and look for the bird.