Littering is one way of improper waste disposal which has negative repercussions on the environment. Litter is rubbish not thrown properly into trash bins, so they do not get the proper treatment and disposal they need. They do not end up in landfills or recycling facilities, but instead get blown by the wind or enters waterways in order to reach the ocean and other water bodies. As a result, beach cleanup activities every year collect tonnes of rubbish like cigarette butts, plastic packaging, disposable takeout containers, and plastic bags.
Marine litter significantly harms the environment by altering aquatic conditions and injuring and killing marine animals and plants. Thousands of fishes, reptiles, mammals, and seabirds die of entanglement and ingestion of marine debris. Litter also leads to pollution, habitat destruction, and diseases. So, if you think that one time of throwing a single piece of cigarette butt outside your car window does no harm at all, think again. Other people might also be littering for the same reason – “it’s only a small piece.”
Myths about Littering and the Truths Behind Them
A lot of myths revolves around littering. Here are seven of those littering myths and their debunking explanations.
Littering in an unclean place is acceptable.
Littering anywhere is unacceptable. Littering means rubbish is not thrown properly, so they do not get segregated, recycled, and disposed of properly. Thus, you should only throw waste in the trash bin and not anywhere else.
Tiny pieces of litter are not noticeable.
A single piece of tiny litter isn’t noticeable, but hundreds of small litter are. Even rubbish as small as cigarette butts, bottle caps, or tin can rings would be apparent if there are plenty of them. Whether they are clustered in groups or scattered in an area, small pieces of litter are apparent to the naked eye. Now, imagine seeing the 7.2 billion cigarette butts littered in Australia every year.
Littering is free and convenient.
Of course, you are free to litter and it’s as easy as flicking a cigarette butt away from your hand. It’s the consequences you should be worrying about. Littering in Australia is illegal and would cost you a significant amount of money. Committing this environmental crime would incur fines starting from $100 to more than $6,000.
Littering only occurs when there are no trash bins available.
Even if there are trash bins in the area, some people are still too lazy to throw their trash in it. People still litter if it’s the more convenient option such as if the area is already unclean, if other people also litter, and if they can’t be seen littering.
Litter does not harm people directly.
Litter is a fire and safety hazard. They can start a fire or worsen one since some types of litter are combustible. Aside from that, litter could also cause accidents. People trip or slip from rubbish on the ground. Vehicle collisions and road accidents are also sometimes due to rubbish blocking the driver’s sight. Moreover, litter also causes diseases to humans since rubbish serve as breeding grounds for germs and bacteria.
Litter does not affect the economy.
Improperly thrown rubbish negatively impacts the economy. Aside from degrading tourist attractions in the country, littering also lowers the values of real estates and housing areas. Litter is also a wasted resource that we could’ve recovered if we segregate and throw them properly. Moreover, the government spends billions of money for cleanup activities to help solve the litter problem in the country.
There are only types of people who litter.
Littering habits are not confined to a certain race, age, sex, or social standing. Young or old, rich or poor, white or people with colour, man or woman, people litter the same. Littering is a wrong behaviour that could become habitual and be passed on to generations. Your children could imitate you when they see you litter.
Environmental awareness is important because it allows us to make informed decisions on our behaviours and habits. One way to be environmentally aware is to debunk myths and learn the truths behind them. This allows you to understand why littering is a bad practice and why you need to follow proper waste disposal all the time. Only when we’re knowledgeable do we truly comprehend the consequences of our actions.
Kurt’s Rubbish Removal is your partner in keeping this planet a cleaner and sustainable place to live in. We are rubbish removal experts who will handle any type of rubbish in your homes or offices fast and efficiently. We always strive to perform our job in the most environmentally-friendly manner possible. That’s why we sort our rubbish carefully to ensure that our partner recycling and disposal facilities recycle everything and only send the least amount of rubbish to landfills.