Littering means disposing something improperly, like leaving rubbish lying around in the wrong place. Simply put, it is the act throwing something away in a place where it doesn’t belong and just leaving the objects to unnecessarily lie there, instead of placing them in garbage container or trash bin. Objects from the household, like lightbulbs, other kind of waste from office, factories and more industrial places need to be placed in recycling containers.
Littering has an effect on different aspects of society. It is not just an environmental issue, but also an economic and legal one. Governments are spending millions cleaning up people’s garbage left lying around. By the way, you can get a huge fine because of littering in some countries.
To put into a rule that even children would understand: littering is really bad. That’s why we have all these trash cans in the cities, and the reason as to why people still throw trash on the ground remains the big question. Here are some reasons and excuses why people litter:
- They are lazy or even try to justify their actions based on the general cleanliness of the place around them – if it’s already less than clean, why should they pick after themselves?
- People sometimes do not grasp the full weight behind their actions and do not acknowledge the consequences of littering.
- Sometimes the excuse is that the garbage cans were not readily available, were full, or that the myriad of cans – all meant for recycling – are confusing them
- Others follow the ‘see-and-do’ method, as in, if they see someone throw away the trash, they will not hesitate to repeat that.
- Often people shrug off the responsibility by stating it’s only one paper or trash, so why should they care, it’s not like one measly piece of garbage will ruin the planet.
Main reasons and excuses of why there is so much litter on the streets usually is the laziness, looking at the situation irresponsibly and, of course, ignorance. If cans are smelly and overflowing with trash, it means that government should also take responsibility for that; also, if parents litter, the children do the same copying them, perhaps a fine system is not being applied, or a person thinks one man’s actions does not matter and cannot make a difference in this big world.
Most common things that we can find lying on the street are wrappers from fast food, cigarette buds, plastic bottles, paper. That shows that it is easier for a person to throw a wrapper on the ground than to find a trash can. All this rubbish carries germs and viruses which can infect people by entering our drinking water system, or even our pets can bring it to our homes.
But it can be controlled, and one person can make a difference. Everything starts with education, from our closest people, like family and friends, taking on the task of teaching us or public/private education system acting as an informant. We all need to be taught that every single step, even a small one, directed to doing good and helping our planet has an effect.
To sum up, the start of solving this huge issue is simple and can be done in three steps. First, you need to stop littering yourself. Second, pick up a little piece of litter every day. Third, stop or report people if they litter.