Adding More Trash Cans and Receptacles - Solve the Littering Problem

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So we have a littered at some point in our life whether it was throwing out a wrapper into the street or spitting out gum onto the floor. We have all done it some of us may do it more than others. This is a big problem. Approximately 43% of people in the U.S. admit to littering at least once. One of the most littered items are cigarette butts which accounts for 38% of all litter which takes 12 years to decompose.and according to an article by National Geographic cigars and cigarettes can leak toxic chemicals into watersheds. Paper contributes 22% and plastic 19% of all litter. You may be looking around outside and have a right idea of how much litter there is but there is a lot we don’t see. Like in the ocean, we estimate that there are roughly 300 billion pounds of plastic. This is a problem because according to Plastic has been found in more than 60% of all seabirds and in 100% of sea turtles species, this happens because they mistake plastic for food like sea turtles to mistake plastic bags for jellyfish. Seabirds also mistake litter items for food that can lead to them choking. And when animals ingest plastic, it causes life-threatening problems, including reduced fitness, nutrient uptake and feeding efficiency which are all vital for survival. Plastic strapping bands can be very dangerous for marine animals like seals and dolphins creating cuts in their skin around their necks or fins. The fishing industry is responsible for 10% of ocean debris. Nets and fishing gear can get lost or are thrown away into the ocean. These are called ghost nets and they continue trapping fish for decades. There is even an island of trash two times the size of Texas that is floating in the pacific ocean. Trash can contain diseases, these diseases can be passed between animals that eat it. If trash is sitting in water, that water becomes contaminated, and when the water evaporates whatever was in the contaminated trash in now in the air. Mexico City, the nation’s capital, produces more than 12,000 tons of refuse daily, and is responsible for 50% of the floods occurring annually in this city. According to the Mexico City Water System, these floods are caused by the litter thrown by city dwellers in streets.

So Why Do People Litter

MP2: The first thing that comes to mind is its easier to litter than wait till you find a trash can and people don’t really know how damaging it really is. Once you start littering it does become a habit. Others may feel that once they do litter it becomes the maintenance workers’ problem and not their own. According to an article by Paul Wesley Schultz If there is already a pile of litter people are more likely to litter than if you’re in a place that’s clean. Who’s the biggest contributor to littering? Motorists contribute 52% and pedestrians contribute 23%. Research also shows that people under 30 years old are more likely to litter than those who are older.

What Can We Do To Help

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MP3: The most obvious answer is to stop littering, but there is more we can do. Whenever You see a piece of litter even if it’s just one piece a day you’re still helping the environment. When you set your garbage out on the curb make sure you secure the trash inside of it using a trash bag. Trash that is loose in a garbage can, has a higher risk of missing the truck and being added to the environment. Shortage of enforcement many communities cannot devote people and resources to effectively deal with illegal dumping. As a result, dumpers do not fear prosecution and have no reason to stop their habits. One common reason why people litter is because they don’t have a place to put their trash. Adding more trash cans and receptacles could solve the littering problem. Trash can easily be taken by the wind and blow out of a window or a car door when opened. So what we can do is keep a bag in your vehicle and throw your trash in the bag to dispose of properly later. Recycling materials instead of littering can save natural resources, landfill space, energy, and clean air and water. We can join litter cleanup programs like the Adopt-a-Highway this program can make sure our streets and roadways are clear of litter. Many of these programs require you to pick up litter over a 1-3 mile road at least twice per year. Pet owners should always carry a doggy bag to pick up after your dog. Make sure to throw this into the trash and not the recycle bin. In America littering is can result in a fine up to $500, community service, or both, as set out by state statutes and city ordinances. All 50 states have anti-litter laws, with various fines, community service, and/or imprisonment as a possible punishment. Litter traps can be used to capture litter as it exits stormwater drains into waterways. However, litter traps are only effective for large or floating items of litter and they have to be maintained.

Now that we have gone over the problems, causes, and solutions of littering it is time for you to make a decision. You can choose to continue to litter or choose to help save the environment.

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