October Recycling Challenge: Pick Up Some Recyclable Litter
Have you ever been somewhere that was covered with litter? How did the place look? Did you want to spend a lot of time there? And how much of the litter do you think would actually have been recyclable?
We’re sure you’ve seen your fair share of recyclable drinks cans, plastic bottles, cardboard boxes, newspapers and more, that the ignorant minority have dropped, and you’ve felt outraged-but how many of you have done something about it? Well, the good news is, you can.
This October, we’re setting you the challenge of picking up some litter, especially things that are recyclable, whether it’s on your way to work, while you’re walking the dog, or you’re with the kids in the park. Every little bit makes a difference. Every bit of recycling you pick up helps the environment and it makes sure valuable materials and precious resources don’t get wasted.
Why should you pick up litter?
- It spoils the look of the places where you live and work. Nobody wants to see their local park covered in plastic, glass, or other kinds of rubbish, or bags dumped in alleyways, attracting pests. It’s up- to everyone to keep our towns, cities, beaches, and beauty spots beautiful.
- It’s great exercise. Getting out in the fresh air, walking, bending, and carrying, even for an hour can be quite an exertion. You’ll feel better for it and you’ll be doing something so worthwhile at the same time; what’s not to love?
- It inspires others. Seeing people out picking up litter both puts the message across to other people that they shouldn’t drop litter, and it tends to inspire other people to start taking pride in their areas and picking up litter too.
- Clean areas discourage crime and litter dropping. It’s proven that there tends to be more crime and antisocial behaviour in areas where there’s a lot of litter because people think that nobody cares about those areas. Keeping an area clean shows that people take pride in it and there won’t be as many incidences of littering and crime.
- It’s great for community spirit. If you get together and pick up litter with a group, it gives you a great feeling of belonging and working together for a good cause. It can bring a lot of people of all ages together, and you might even meet some people that you’ve never met before.
Why don’t people pick up litter?
Picking up litter is easy, good for you, and good for the planet. So why don’t more people do it? Here are the main reasons people give for not picking up litter.
They don’t want to pick up other people’s litter
This is a very common reason. You know the saying; bad people get away with things because good people do nothing. Okay, the litter in your street or in the park where your kids play might not be yours, but are you really okay with it? What if everyone thought like that? Keeping our local areas safe, clean, and tidy is everyone’s job.
They think it’s someone else’s job
Most people think that it’s the council’s job to clear up litter, and that is partly true. But how much of your hard-earned cash do you think it costs councils to clear up litter and fly-tipping that’s been dumped by the careless minority? Hundreds of millions of pounds, which could be far better spent on the services that improve our lives each day. This could be avoided if we picked up litter, or just didn’t drop it in the first place!
They think litter is dirty
This may be true, but it’s not like you have to go out and pick it up without wearing gloves. Most of the time it’s no dirtier than weeding your own garden, which you wouldn’t do without gloves (hopefully).
They think it’s embarrassing
Well we’re not going to say you won’t feel self-conscious at first, but once people see you doing something good for the local area, they’ll probably admire you for it, and it might actually deter people from dropping litter.
They think they’ll pick up something dangerous
What you’ll mostly see when you’re out and about picking up litter is crisp packets, cigarette packets, and plastic bottles. On the rare occasion that you see something untoward or hazardous, report it to the council straight away, because it might have to be dealt with in a particular way.
Once you’ve picked up the litter, take it home, give it a wash, then pop it in your recycling bin or box, or take it to a local recycling bank or collection point. Then sit back and enjoy the feeling that you’ve done your bit for the planet.