Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Good News About Litter Shows How Far We Have To Go!

The good news about litter is in a thorough study revealing that there is 61% less of it than in 1969, but also showing just how far we have yet to go, if we are to eliminate it all together.

Part of the reason for the decline to today’s 51.2 billion pieces litter may be the drop in the number of cigarettes smoked each year in the U.S. from just more than 500 billion in 1969 to around 360 billion today.

But at 36.3% of all litter, butts still rank as the #1 type.  Of course, the study is only ground level and blind to sources of desecration proliferating above ground level, termed by many as litter-on-a-stick and also viewed as detracting in some states by nearly 7 to 1 by Republicans and Democrats and nearly 8 to 1 by Independents in some states.Types of Litter

The study shows that some kinds of litter pollution have dramatically increased since 1969.  The product made famous 40 years ago by the memorable line in a still popular movie, “I just want to say one word to you.  Just one word...Plastics!” has increased 165% since then.

Litterers don’t just run up the tab for taxpayers.  As poorly as many cities and counties, including mine, address litter, they shoulder only 8.5% of the cost.  Throw in what it costs states and you only get to 11.7%

But 80% of the costs driven by litter are shouldered by businesses which invariably pass it along to consumers, driving up the costs of products and services.

Want to focus on areas that can make a huge difference right away? Then think about rectifying the following and we’ll be off to a good start:

  • Motorists who do not use car ashtrays or litter bags.
  • Business dumpsters that are improperly covered.
  • Loading docks and commercial or recreational marinas with inadequate waste receptacles.
  • Construction and demolition sites without tarps and receptacles to contain debris and waste.
  • Trucks with uncovered loads on local roads and highways.
  • Household trash scattered before or during collection.

No comments: