Following on from yesterday’s blog post about mindsets,
many of our volunteers tell me that they don’t understand people who litter.
The behaviour and thought process just doesn’t make any sense: how can someone
just chuck something from a car, or drop a wrapper when they’re done with it? For
those of us who clean up litter, there is simply no logic to dropping it in the
The closest I’ve gotten to understanding the mindset of
someone who litters involves a four-letter word: lint. What do you do if you spot a speck of lint or other
debris on your clothing? Pick it off and drop it on the floor? Brush it off
without thinking about it?
I would imagine that most of us do just that. Why? Because
it’s an automatic reaction or habit? Because that piece of lint, or fluff, or
crumb, is something that is out of place and not needed? Because we have a
desire for personal cleanliness? I have a suspicion that littering falls under
the same umbrella, for most of the same reasons. The only difference is the
size and scale of what’s dropped.
This then introduces the £1 billion question:
how do we stop people from discarding bottles and cans, wrappers and cartons,
as easily as they brush off a bit of fluff?