What a difference a week makes! Last week when I recorded
the litter the weather was windy and rainy and just downright miserable. This week? Spring has definitely arrived and
it was wonderful to enjoy blue skies and sunshine.
Not-so-wonderful is the fact that the litter hasn’t
changed much in its time outside. We are just about at the end of the first
quarter of the year, and despite the variety of weather that has been thrown at
it, much of the rubbish is practically unchanged since 1st January. Here’s
a closer look at it, from left to right:
Water Bottle: A little bit dented from the board falling on it in high
winds, but otherwise in good shape.
Wrapper: I believe this coated paper has shrunk a little in the constant
cycle of getting wet then drying, but otherwise it looks like it can still be
used to wrap up a sub.
This is one bit of rubbish that did disappear, but only because it was making a
bigger mess. The napkin last almost eight weeks, and had been shredded into
smaller pieces that wouldn’t stay on the board.
Container: This piece of cardboard has faded considerably since it’s been
outside and is a little raggedy at the edges, but otherwise is holding strong.
Cup/Lid: These ended up being taken apart and nailed on separately as the
swelling of the cardboard coffee cup in the rain meant the lid didn’t stay on.
This shows how easily one piece of litter can become two. Both items show a
little damage from when the board fell over, and the cardboard of the cup is
fading a little, but overall they’re still in good condition. [SIDE NOTE: If
you enjoy a hot beverage when out and about, please consider switching to a
re-usable cup rather than relying on a disposable one. Those by eCoffee are
made from sustainable bamboo, or the Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew have some lovely
ceramic mugs. Whichever you choose, you’ll know that you’re not contributing to
the 2.5 billion cups that go to waste each year in the UK alone.]
Packet: This piece of rubbish has probably shown the biggest change in
terms of fading, but the bag itself is still absolutely fine.
Carton (with and without cellophane): The carton left in its cellophane
wrapper has fared better; although the package is deforming due to moisture, it
has stayed together and just exhibits a little fading. The other has sprung apart at the seams, but
shows no sign of completely falling apart.
Pouch: No change.
Two of the cigarettes got knocked off the board when it toppled, but the others
have stayed on. The paper part is slowly disintegrating, but the butts
themselves—the part that is actually discarded—look unchanged.
Bag: No change.
Cup and Lid: Like the Costa cup, this cup and lid ended up being nailed on separately
as they would no longer fit together. Also like the Costa cup, there is some
denting due to the toppled board crushing it, but otherwise no major damage.
The orange balloon was never inflated and it looks the exact same as when it
was originally nailed to the board. The yellow balloon was nailed up partially
inflated to mimic a real balloon release situation and it is exhibiting some changes. The balloon material is thinner due to the
inflation and is starting to shred as a result of exposure. It becomes very
easy to imagine how dangerous this can be to wildlife as it breaks apart into
smaller bitesize pieces.
Although most of the text has faded, the receipt itself is in good shape. Like
the sandwich wrapper above, it is made out of coated paper and it is proving
surprisingly resilient to the elements.
Balloon: This white square is actually a dove balloon that is sold on eBay
as being biodegradable and perfectly safe for release at weddings and special
events. So far it shows absolutely no sign of breaking down or changing in any
Can: Dented from the board landing on it, but no other changes.
Wrapper: The red colouration has faded from the strip on the top of the
package, but otherwise no change.
Takeaway Container: Surprisingly there are no real changes to this
container. I expected it to lose its shape or start breaking into pieces as the
material falls somewhere between paper and cardboard, but it’s doing fine.
Container: Like many items, this piece was damaged during the winter storms
that knocked the board over a few times. So it does have a crack in it, but otherwise
- Lucozade Bottle:
No changes. This didn’t even get dented when the board fell, and based on the
number of these bottles I see along the roadways, I am starting to think they’re
Carton: This has warped in the rain and the red part of the packaging
faded, but otherwise it’s still very clearly a sandwich carton.
Bottle: No changes.