Care for your community by disposing of waste properly
Littering – or what littering means to us today – is a rather modern problem. It wasn’t until the 1950s or so that manufacturers began producing higher volumes of litter, creating material such as disposable products and packaging produced with materials such as plastic.
As for definitions, littering refers to making a place or an area untidy with rubbish, or incorrectly disposing of waste. Littering can happen intentionally or unintentionally; but both have environmental consequences.
It is difficult to fully comprehend the monumental effects of throwing a cup out of a window or dropping food packaging on the ground. Other than being unsightly, litter can cause serious consequences for the environment.
As litter degrades, chemicals and microparticles are released. These chemicals aren’t natural to the environment and can cause a number of problems. Toxic chemicals and microorganisms in the trash that lead to disease may also contaminate water systems and spread waterborne diseases.
Based on recent data, seven billion tons of debris enter the world’s oceans annually and most of it is long-lasting plastic. Litter also reduces air quality due to its smell and toxic-chemical vapour emanating from the trash.
Animals are innocent victims affected by litter. Researchers estimate that over one million animals die each year after ingesting or being entrapped in improperly discarded trash.
So why do people litter intentionally?
The justification for littering is quite simple. It generally boils down to one of four reasons: laziness or carelessness; lack of access to trash receptacles: lenient law enforcement; and the presence of litter already in the area.
Laziness and carelessness have bred a culture of habitual littering. Carelessness has made people throw rubbish anywhere without thinking about the consequences of their actions. Many people either do not realise or underestimate the negative impacts of littering on the environment.
And the majority of people believe that others will clean up after them.
Researchers estimate that over one million animals die each year after ingesting or being entrapped in improperly discarded trash