Bahamas News

MM Clean Campaign – What is Littering

October 11, 2018 – Litter is nothing but a piece of waste or rubbish that has been disposed improperly, without consent and at wrong location. Littering simply means throwing away objects on the ground or leaving them lying on the ground instead of disposing them at garbage can, recycling bin or trash container. The waste that originates from houses, industries, factories should be placed either in recycling bin or waste to energy plant or at a site meant for disposing garbage.

Litter can originate from construction and demolition sites, households, uncovered trucks, pedestrians, and moving vehicles.  Apart from that, unavailability of garbage bins and being too lazy to walk to a  trash container are other reasons for littering.  Uncovered trucks, pedestrians and moving vehicles are some other

As far as littering effects are concerned, it has economic, legal and environmental impact in the form of spending millions of dollars in cleaning up litter, huge fine if caught littering from vehicle and damage to our surroundings that can have effect on plants and animals and can cause loss to the local tourism industry.

Plain and simply, littering is wrong.  We have trash and garbage cans for a reason, so why throw away your trash on the ground when you could throw it away in its intended place?  People still litter, largely for the following reasons:

–          Laziness

–          The area is already messy, why bother finding a trash can?

–          People don’t realize that with littering, there do come consequences

–          The garbage cans are already overflowing

–          My neighbor litters, so do I!

–          Really? It’s just one paper!

–          People are starving in Africa! What do you care about littering?

–          The garbage can is too far away

The list could really go on forever.  People come up with countless excuses to throw their piece of trash down on the ground instead of taking the short amount of time to find a garbage can and properly throw it away. But littering does have consequences, and here are some facts that may surprise you.  They include, but are not limited to, ecological, financial and lawful consequences:

Facts About Littering

  • Household waste, industrial waste, construction waste and other like packaging waste are most common types of sources of litter.

 

  • It doesn’t look to nice.  Places with high littering are also often riddled with crime, less values on homes and property, and are more likely to be the site of fires.  You could ultimately end up losing money on your house.

 

  • Litter on the ground degrades natural areas and kills plants and animals.  All that it takes is for a cat to get stuck in a bottle or a bird getting caught up in a soda can holder.

 

  • Billions of tons of litter are dumped into the ocean each year, and it is more than the 250 million trashes that is being generated each year too. When you toss your garbage on the sidewalk or on the highway, you may in reality be throwing it away into the Atlantic. This leads to the repeated killing of fish on a daily basis and the gradual depletion of marine life.  Believe it or not, the litter we produce are causing more underwater species to become endangered.

 

  • Cigarette butts make up over half of our littered objects, and they take a grand total of ten years to decompose because of a cellulose acetate, contrary to the popular perception that cigarette butts decompose very quickly in only a matter of days. In reality, cigarette butts are a serious threat to the environment.

 

  • The main causes of littering are laziness, ignorance, people don’t realize the effects of littering, the bins are dirty and not big enough, there are enough bins and moreover those bins aren’t emptied often enough, poor parenting and education, there is no fine for littering, one person can’t make a difference, no sense of pride, not bothered about effects of littering.

 

  • The most common littered objects include the following in descending order: fast food, paper, aluminium, glass, and plastic.  It turns out someone would rather toss their burger wrapper and empty soda on the street than find a garbage can, and not surprisingly, this is done on roadside and highways.

 

  • Litter can be controlled.  People need to be educated regarding ill effects of littering. Education plays an important role here. Children needs to be taught at elementary level as how littering can can cause environmental impact. They can also teach others they see littering and and teach them to dispose of garbage the right way.

 

  • Litter is smelly and dirty and can be dangerous and unhealthy for our environment. It affects communities and people who live there. It could be poisonous for plants and animals. It can have a severe impact on tourism.

 

  • Fast food wrappers and aluminium cans are two most common type of items that are found while cleaning litter.

 

  • Litter when not covered on a truck bed can cause it to blow out without the driver knowing.

 

  • Do not throw litter from a vehicle as it may cause damage to surroundings and can have a bad effect on local tourism industry.

 

  • Litter can hamper economic development of a community.  When new businesses look for a dynamic growing community where their businesses can grow, they would hardly be interested in setting up new ventures, if they see a lot of litter around.

 

  • Reducing litter is just a 3 step process: stop littering, pick up litter, report if you find someone littering illegally.

 

Article: Conserve Energy Future

 


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