Ideally I would ban them from everywhere, but sadly realise this is impossible. My daughter recieved a box of 100’s of the things for her birthday. It is sitting on top of a cupboard, unopened whilst I try to figure out the best way to dispose of it!
So what is my gripe with this fashionable craze that has boys and girls happily sitting ‘looming’ fantastic creations? It is the little bands – they get everywhere. They do not biodegrade and they look remarkably like small bits of food to many birds and small mammals (most of whom don’t see in colour).
So these bracelets, necklaces, key rings and other loom band accouterments are carried around and the little bands break and drop wherever their owner is passing…..
Children sit and loom in the shade of trees or in playgrounds. They drop a few bands…. They drop the box – pick most up, but not all….
The little bands and their tiny plastic hookie things end up all over the place – they get blown by the wind, swept by gardeners or grounds people, they end up where birds and small creatures are looking for food. They end up in rivers and lakes, in the sea where aquatic animals are looking for food. They get eaten.
Now, I am presuming that you don’t eat much plastic or rubber bands – I strongly advise against it.
Animals (and that includes humans) cannot digest plastic or rubber bands. Some may pass through the gut, but most sticks around making it hard for the animal to digest other food. The smaller the animal, the smaller their guts and so the more likely it is for the loom band or bits of loom band to get stuck.
Yes, there is a great educational lesson to be had with children about picking up the dropped bands and putting them in the bin.
My daughter is quite aware and does pick up the rubbish she sees!
However, despite the fact that we have none at home, I still find the pesky things in the house and garden. She is given a bracelet, a friend comes round wearing a loom band something, it breaks or just a band or two breaks.
There are many worse things. But with just a little forethought loom bands could have been a great toy and had no impact on wildlife – if only they were properly biodegradable. Apparently they break up in to smaller pieces in sunlight – great even more little bits for animals to try and eat!
And yes, of course as they are made from synthetic rubber, there is a huge climate impact too!