What a difference a week makes … at least regarding weather.
I didn’t need to chase down litter or add more nails to the board: everything
stayed exactly where I put it and I’ve certainly enjoyed having the chance to
see the sun this week. But despite the
sun (and frost), the litter itself has remained pretty much the same.
The napkin, which seemed to be on its way to disintegration,
is actually looking pretty good this week and may outlive January after
all. The other Subway branded piece of
rubbish—the sandwich wrapper—is practically unchanged from when I started three
weeks ago. The other papery products, the
cigarettes and receipt, are also more or less the same as when they were first
Ditto for the cardboard … mostly. While it has softened,
the McDonald’s chip container is holding strong, as is the Tesco sandwich
container and the cardboard takeaway container.
Where there have been some changes is with the cigarette cartons. One is just cardboard, and the other is still
wrapped in cellophane. The former is
literally coming apart at the seams, while the latter looks brand new.
Regarding the balloons, the orange one shows absolutely no change,
and the yellow looks deflated but still has some air trapped in it after three
weeks. The white is a “biodegradable”
dove balloon that is showing absolutely zero signs of biodegrading as promised. The other items—the plastic bottles, can,
glass bottle, carrier bag, crisp packet, sweet packet, polystyrene takeaway
container—continue to show no changes (any dents are due to last week’s windy weather when the board fell over).
This experiment encourages the following thought experiment:
imagine for a moment if litter was never
picked up. If every piece that was tossed from a car or discarded along the
road was left where it fell. All of the things nailed to this board multiplied
day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year. Is that
really the type of community or country we want to live in?