Litter is an issue in every part of the world, and it's a growing problem. With the population increasing and our world becoming more about convenience and disposable items, our landfills, lakes, and roadways are filling up with discarded objects.
There are several reasons why litter is a problem, but here's the short list:
So what are the main reasons why there is so much litter?
Litterbugs aren't 100% to blame. Check out the three W's below:
Animals frequently dig through garbage cans to try and find food, and they certainly aren't courteous enough to clean up their mess afterwards. The issue here is that many public garbage cans are open barrels and are easily accessed by animals. Even the closed garbage cans can be broken in to by clever animals looking for a snack. Residents putting their garbage out for collection too early is also a problem. The racoons are waiting!
The wind not only blows garbage out of public garbage cans but it also tips over recycling bins on garbage day. The issue is partly a design flaw, all recycling bins should have lids. Some municipalities have caught on but there are still thousands of communities that use the standard blue box.
This is the biggest contributor to litter. Our use of single-use products is out of control. A majority of the litter picked up could be prevented if citizens used reusable items. Imagine a world without food wrappers, plastic beverage bottles, paper cups, plastic cutlery, and plastic straws. It might sound challenging, but we've lived without these things in the past and there are some amazing new replacements available today.
The biggest problem when it comes to litter is mindset, when we throw something in the garbage we instantly think that thing is gone, but it has to go somewhere. Our landfills are filling up fast and do we really want to waste more space creating more? At some point our planet will eventually become one giant landfill if we go that route. We need to change our behaviour if we want to live on a litter-free planet.