As May draws to a close, I am finishing up #OneADayInMay with a bang: a collection of litter found along Malmesbury Road. There’s the usual small detritus: a bottle cap, pay-and-display ticket, gum wrapper. Recycables are represented by a Red Bull can. And there’s what appears to be a nearly complete McDonald’s meal tossed out of a car; the only thing missing is the drink.
Throughout this past month, I’ve shown the rubbish collected from Chippenham and further afield, but it cannot be forgotten that litter is not about packaging. It’s about people. It’s people who cause the problem and it’s people who have to be the ones to sort it.
Don’t ignore it. Don’t think that it’s someone else‘s responsibility to deal with. Talk to your children (regardless of their age!) and set a good example for them, your friends, family, and neighbours. Are you a teacher? Talk to your students. One of our volunteers has done an incredible job getting Queen’s Crescent School involved with anti-litter work. Talk to your co-workers. Could you set aside some time once a month, or even once a week, to clean up around your premises? All of this can help make the point that littering is unacceptable and, at the very least, make an area look better.
As I was picking this lot up, a woman stopped by and said, “Thank you! I do this on my street all the time.” There are a lot of us out there who care about having clean communities–let’s do our best to make that happen year round.