The plastic bag in the image on the left is filled with litter collected from what would have been an approximately ten metre length of creek’s edge, around a twenty minute walk from my current home in the suburbs of Brisbane, Australia.
That i can find this much waste in such a small area is quite astonishing, and perhaps an assessment – with very poor results – of the people local to this area. I fear however, that this isn’t a phenomenon unique to this locale.
Sure, the existence of a McDonalds just a few hundred metres away ensured that there was a majority of their packaging littering the shoreline (which city or suburb doesn’t have a McDonalds these days? – keep up the good work Ronald) but we live in a country where rubbish bins aren’t necessarily few and far between.
Nevertheless, most of what i picked up were discarded food wrappers and packaging (along with quite a few plastic bags – no doubt from the nearby supermarket, a load of cigarette butts – an insidious, all too often thrown, disgusting piece of matter, beer bottles and alchopop cans) that could surely have been held onto, and disposed of properly, with care and thought of the impact that not doing so can have.
Fact is, most people (dare i say, most Australians) are far too mindless, lazy and dare i say stupid to consider hanging on to their chocolate bar wrapper, or paper bag, or burnt out cigarette, or finished soda can until they can get to a rubbish bin.
In my suburb, this basically means no more than a 500 metre walk (until you will pass a bin on the side of the street). – In the CBD (where insane littering is still rife) you’d probably pass a rubbish bin every 200 metres.
Why it is so easy for most people to engage in this ugly habit is a mostly unanswerable question – we all know the consequences of letting our waste go to ground. But still, single-celled organisms take better care of their living environment. As do most birds, insects and sea life.
Perhaps there is part of the blame to be squared on the shoulders of the over-packaging producers of the goods we consume, but consider: If not one single person let one single piece of litter reach the ground, how much healthier would our oceans be, our gardens look, our streets appear, and how much would we all benefit from an untainted human habitat? A clean habitat for our food sources? An increase in productivity from not having to allocate resources and manpower to constantly cleaning up our mess? And the love that our mother earth would provide us with in return? Im sure i can be forgiven for using the word ‘stupid’ ..
Think about it.