OUR increase in plastic litter is harming animals in the county, the RSPCA has found.

Data shows a rise in incidents affecting animals involving plastic litter.

The charity found a rise in incidents affecting animals involving plastic litter from 473 in 2015 to 579 in 2018 across England and Wales.

In 2018, Oxfordshire had 18 litter incidents, half of which were plastic incidents whereas the year before there were 16, seven of which were plastic related.

The animal welfare charity’s latest data also reveals that there are certain animals - especially those that live in water habitats - which are being affected.

ALSO READ: Oxford swift boxes give a home to migrating birds this summer

There has been a fourfold rise in seals affected by plastic incidents, with 28 recorded across England and Wales in 2018 compared to just 5 in 2015.

Plastic litter is a particular problem for certain water birds, with incidents involving geese rising from 37 to 70 and swans rising from 40 to 48 across England and Wales during the same four-year period.

Adam Grogan, the head of wildlife at RSPCA, said: :“Every year, the RSPCA deals with increasing numbers of mammals, birds and reptiles that have become entangled or affected in some way by discarded plastic.

“Our latest data reflects the wider litter crisis taking place across the globe and action is urgently needed. It’s up to every one of us to do our bit in the war against litter.”

The charity encourages people to help protect animals by taking litter home and disposing of it responsibly.