Kings Langley School student Georgia Carter, of Nightingale Close, first noticed the piles of the bands littering the streets while walking to school.

And despite picking up the offending items, Georgia claims that she found more bands in their place in the days that followed.

Concerned for the effect the discarded bands have on the environment, Georgia has decided to research the topic in school for her citizenship studies and raise awareness of the issue - in a bid to combat the problem.

She said: “The rubber bands are used by postal workers to bunch letters together during delivery.

“The red colour makes them distinctive, so they are used by Royal Mail postal workers.

“At first, I thought that this could be accidental dropping, but within five days, I had gathered 46 bands that postal workers had dropped carelessly on their daily rounds.

“During the weekend, I went out for a walk with my five-year-old sister and came across 57 rubber bands, strewn across the pavement, some in heaps of five and more.

“I decided to research the issue further and discovered that 18.3 per cent of streets in England have red bands present and in Wales, it is considerably more.

“Postal workers are dropping bands all over the United Kingdom and in vast quantities.

“Not only are they untidy and costly, but they are harmful to the environment.”

Charity Keep Britain Tidy has on previous occasions called for their use to be reduced, with representatives warning that wild animals can choke on them.

Georgia said: “In April 2009, Keep Britain Tidy warned postal workers that they need to obey the littering a law and if they didn’t, they could face fines.

“But as far as I can tell, postal workers persist in dropping these bands, despite the numerous warnings given to them.

“If a member of the public is caught dropping litter then they could face on the spot fines of £60, but postal workers appear to get away with it.

“Red rubber bands are a nuisance, particularly in rural areas as wild animals confuse them with food, which could pose a serious threat to wildlife.

“I’ve read stories about ducks and hedgehogs choking on the bands, as well as domestic dogs mistaking them for treats.

“Is it too much to ask them to put the rubber bands in their pockets?”

According to data provided by a Freedom of Information Act request to Royal Mail in 2011, postal workers get through two million bands per day.

And in just over five years, the organisation has spent more than five million pounds on the bands.

Georgia said: “Littering affects the look of the community around us, as well as the wildlife and the environment. It is costly to clean up and easy to prevent.

“I want to make Abbots Langley somewhere which is clean and that people are proud of.

“That’s why I am encouraging people to report littering to their local post office.”

Royal Mail spokesperson Sally Hopkins stressed that postmen and women are regularly reminded to take care not to drop rubber bands and to reuse them.

She said: “Royal Mail uses biodegradable rubber bands because they are necessary when it comes to the effective sorting and delivery of the mail.

“Postal workers are regularly reminded about the importance of avoiding litter.

“The vast majority of rubber bands are re-used by our people in delivery offices and mail centres across the UK."