When pollutants and trash are released into the environment, they throw off the balance that exists within ecosystems. Trash is not only potentially dangerous for animals that come across it, but it can also emit pollutants into the soil, water, and air.
Animals, a vital part of any ecosystem, often get hurt through trash that is left lying around in the environment. Sharks are found with ridiculous amounts of trash in their stomachs; dolphins get caught in plastic six-pack racks; small animals suffocate in plastic bags left lying around. There are plenty of other examples, but the point is, animals can die from the trash we leave lying around.
When it begins to disintegrate, trash can also release pollutants into the soil and water that animals inhabit. For example, if batteries are thrown away, at a landfill, their chemicals begin to seep into the ground. Pollutants in the soil can cause plants to grow improperly, or not grow at all. They can also poison animals who eat the plants. Waste in the water often makes it toxic, harming the animals who live there. Both organic and inorganic pollutants can also alter the pH of a body of water, disrupting the ecosystem.
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