Litter Bugs are those annoying people who carelessly drop small refuse or waste materials in the public way. Their litter makes parks, beaches, roadways, and sidewalks dirty and expensive to clean up. . Litter Bugs can create dangerous situations for animals and people, too.
According to Keep America Beautiful, litter clean-up costs Americans almost 11.5 billion a year. Municipalities, businesses, schools, and the taxpayers foot the bills for littering. In addition, it is not just garbage on the street that causes clean up to be so expensive. It is the effects of the litter on storm drains that become clogged and cause flooding, the toxic contamination in the water supply, and dangerous materials on roadways.
Animals are at risk from human littering as well. Plastic bags that come from the grocery store have found their way into some very unusual places. As quoted from The Greenhouse Neutral Foundation “There is an estimated 46,000 pieces of plastic in each square mile of ocean. Plastic bags cause over 100,000 sea turtle and other marine animal deaths every year when animals mistake them for food.” “Animals can swallow or get entangled in many of the litter items people leave in the environment.” Says Melissa Kilgore at the Chintimini Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. They can also ingest toxic substances like motor oil and pesticides, which are often dumped into storm drains and end up in our waterways.”
So what do we do to rid ourselves of Litter Bugs?
Do not become one yourself! Throw your trash in a garbage can.
Keep a trash bag in your car to hold all those McDonald’s wrappers and cups. You can always empty the bag at a gas station.
Limit your use of plastic bags from the grocery store, department stores, and home improvement stores. Invest in reusable bags.
Dispose of chemicals, paint, and motor oil safely. Call your local refuse company or town hall and find out where to dispose of these products.
Be a good model! Show others how to dispose of their trash. Teach young people to keep their environment clean.
Volunteer to pick up litter in your neighborhood. Every little bit helps to keep our neighborhoods safe and neat.
Grist, A. s. (Director). (2007). The Crying Indian Commercial [Motion Picture].
Keep America Beautiful, Inc. . (2006). Retrieved from Keep America Beautiful, Inc. : http://www.kab.org/site/PageServer?pagename=focus_litter_prevention
Kilgore, M. (1999). Chintimini Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. Retrieved from Chintimini Wildlife Rehabilitation Center: http://www.chintiminiwildlife.org/Education/LivingWithWild/Litter.htm
Stop Plastic Bags. (2012). Retrieved from The Greenhouse Neutral Foundation: http://greenhouseneutralfoundation.org/articles/2009/12/15/stoplasticbags-a-global-petition-to-ban-the-bag-3/
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