Sometimes it can feel like you’re the only person who cares about litter. After all, it isn’t the most appealing of subjects: it doesn’t have the cuteness of an endangered species, the emotional pull of a sick child, or the immediacy of a natural disaster.
It’s trash. Rubbish. Garbage. Refuse. It’s the stuff that other people have used and discarded. It’s what people would prefer to pretend doesn’t exist.
However, I was chatting to a Chippenham shopkeeper recently and we got on to the topic of litter (which, admittedly, is never far from my mind). She had a few choice words for the people who littered near her home and who she picked up after on a regular basis. I can’t repeat what she said here as I try to keep this page family friendly, but suffice to say she felt strongly about the issue. I left the shop in a much better mood and actually encouraged. Here was someone else who cared about the problem – and who was doing something about it.
Those things I mention above—the endangered species, diseases, and disasters—are often completely beyond our control. Yet litter is caused by us and, equally, can be solved by us. Imagine if all of us who cared presented a united front: picking up litter when we see it; teaching the younger generations that littering is unacceptable; lobbying businesses to think about their packaging and to send the right message to their audience; making people aware that litter does exist – and it will no longer be tolerated.