Last Monday, I went to help with an event organised with a school and residents association in my ward. They were litter picking over lunchtime, with lots of children and residents on hand to help out.
A local resident has lots of information and pictures here.
Armed with a black bag and litter picker, I spent about an hour and a half wandering up familiar streets picking up small pieces of litter, and, in no particular order, here are the thoughts that occurred to me:
- I probably wouldn’t have been so happy to help if the weather hadn’t been quite so good.
- A litter picker is no substitute for a broom.
- Lots of the litter is stuff that didn’t exist a few decades ago: tin cans, plastic sweet wrappers.
- A sizeable proportion of the litter is to do with smoking or drinking: fag packets, cellophane, cigarette butts, broken bottles, lager tins.
- There’s an awful lot of litter, even on streets that look relatively clean.
- There’s an amazing amount of stuff stuck in hedges that has probably been there years.
- There’s no way councils can remove all of this litter on their own. There has to be a three part approach – council tidying, dropping less litter in the first place, and communities taking charge of their own streets.