…Drinks cans, plastic bags, beer bottles, crisp packets, polystyrene cups, cardboard boxes, plastic spoons, take away boxes, wine bottles, a knife, chocolate bar wrappers, knackered old BBQ, mouldy mattress and an exercise bike….
Just some of the litter and rubbish I came across last week whilst walking the few minutes from my apartment to Cornbrook Metro Station, Manchester. Unfortunately this list, or one very similar, can be replicated across many towns and cities in the UK.
The message of Keep Britain Tidy has sadly faded to the point where some find it acceptable to discard litter and rubbish wherever they choose fit, usually with little to no consideration of the impacts that the accumulation of rubbish has on an area and its people.
Why not just throw your rubbish wherever you like? Once that bottle/ drinks can/ crisp packet is hastily freed from your hand it’s no longer your problem, right? It’s someone else’s responsibility. But whose responsibility actually is it? And while we are waiting on that answer the rubbish continues to pile up, layer on layer, as it is thrown by those who have decided the responsibility isn’t theirs.
Rubbish attracts rubbish, and for me enough was enough. Armed with a litter picker (on loan from JKSL) and some refuse bags, I went on a one man early morning mission to clear up just a small part of my local area (much to the dismay of my friends, some of whom thought I’d lost the plot). Two hours and 8 bags of rubbish later the area is looking a little better. I say a little better as it’s no AONB, or pristine vista across a Country Park, it is Manchester city let’s not forget, which has its own distinct charm.
So apart from the funny looks from passers-by and the blistered hands from the litter picker, what lessons have I learnt from this? 1) People consume way too much extra strength lager, cheap wine, junk food and takeaway to be good for them; 2) I am becoming more like my Dad who you’ll find litter picking around Little Baddow in Essex; 3) and this is the most important lesson… If everyone just took a little more responsibility and care for their surroundings and rubbish, our streets would be free from litter, and everyone would be that *little* happier.
….larger can, drinks bottle, takeaway coffee cup, sweets wrappers, dog sh*t in a plastic bag….
I’d like to think my efforts weren’t entirely wasted, but one has to wonder….
Please…Keep Britain Tidy!