Dead seal
'If this loop had been cut before being thrown away, this animal would not have died today, in this way,' BDMLR said. British Divers Marine Life Rescue/Facebook

Pictures of a dead seal washed ashore on a beach in the UK have shone a spotlight on the plight animals go through due to waste.

The seal, tangled in a plastic loop used for packaging , was found in St Mary's Island Local Nature Reserve, near Whitley Bay on the Northumberland coast, on 5 May.

A British marine wildlife rescue organisation shared a picture of the dead seal, believed to have swum into the plastic loop when younger and smaller.

"A sad ending for one young male grey seal today has led us to consider again what happens to our waste, even when disposed of correctly, what happens to it after can have deadly consequences," the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR ) said on its Facebook page on 5 May.

In a comment below the picture, the organisation further explained: "If this loop had been cut before being thrown away, this animal would not have died today, in this way."

Conservationist organisation St Mary's Seal Watch also shared pictures of the dead seal, stressing the fact the animal had not died of natural causes.

"The seal was seen early this morning [5 may] in distress and entangled around its girth in polyester strapping – the sort used for packaging," it said in a Facebook post.

"The strapping loop had been on the seal for some time. Most likely the seal swam into the loop when smaller and was unable to get free. The strapping will then have cut deeply into the animal's flesh as it grew.

"BDMLR, a national rescue organisation, quickly sent one of their marine mammal medics but unfortunately the injuries were too severe and the animal died," the organisation continued.

"This animal did not die of natural causes it was killed by marine litter. Plastic strapping of any size whether this or that found on cans is lethal to wildlife. Always cut it and dispose of it safely. Photo taken and provided by BDMLR."