Boiling a Frog*

There is a saying that goes: If you try to put a frog into a pot of hot water, it will just hop out again. But if you put the frog in cold water and slowly raise the temperature, it will let itself be boiled to death. 

I’ve been thinking of this metaphor a lot lately in relation to the UK’s litter problem. According to Keep Britain Tidy, littering has increased 500% since the 1960s. Maybe it’s because packaging is more disposable than ever before, made only for one-time use. Or more people are eating and drinking on the go. Or cultural norms have disintegrated to the point where there is absolutely no consequence for littering – litterers won’t be called out socially, and there is rarely a financial or legal disincentive.  Or maybe all of the above.

Regardless of the reason, the UK is boiling itself in litter. The oft-quoted figure of 30 million tonnes a year and £1 billion pounds for clean up should be a wake up call – we must do something to turn down the heat before it’s too late.

Do NOT under any circumstances try this at home.


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