The Problem With Littering

Driving in the afternoon, on my way home I look out the window and see trash everywhere. Plastic bags flying around drifting through the wind. Any kind of plastic rolling on the ground, whether it’s cups, bottles, or wraps, you name it and you’ll find it. Empty bags of lays and the Mcdonald’s wrap from your favorite McChicken covering and blocking the sewage. Cars driving by and throwing soda cans, cigarettes, and bones out the window.

Why live in a world like this? The world hasn’t done anything to deserve the mistreatment we are giving it. As the only living things that can do something about it, we should. This is the only world that we can live in and if we don’t take care of it, it can affect humans. We need to do more for the world.

Believe it or not, cleaning up littering is pretty expensive. The US spends about $11.5 billion each year(Raleigh, 2022) to clean up the litter that’s produced whether it’s in the streets, water, or parks. Roughly 90% of Americans report that littering is an issue in the state they live in. We see the dirty side of littering, but not the economic side, and how it’s expensive to clean up the litter.

As people, we have the idea that someone else is going to pick it up or that nothing wrong is going to happen or that at some point it’s just going to disappear. But in reality, it affects us in some way whether it’s in the short or long term, either killing animals or creating diseases and causing a nest of undesired insects like mosquitoes that can spread Malaria, Dengue, or the zika virus.

Littering has been around since humans were around. Over time different kinds of littering started to be seen. It was easier to throw trash before since plastic wasn’t invented yet. According to Wagner, “In the beginning, it didn’t matter if you threw things on the ground, because it was biodegradable and would rot. It wasn’t a problem until plastic was invented.” With all this littering it’s making our world unhealthy to live in.

Another relatable thing is it creates an undesired environment. People complain about the mess and how dirty a place looks outside but nothing is done about it. If people don’t appreciate how there’s trash everywhere covering sewage drains or bags hanging from trees, machines or vehicle parts laying around then throw them in their proper place. By littering, it influences others to do the same. For example, according to Pinard waste systems, “A dropped-off washing machine encourages the dumping of debris and before you know it, a dump site is formed.”  It is easy to be influenced into littering but that should change because littering this way, it harms animals. Seema from Trash world said, “ Plastic waste suffocates, disables, and kills thousands of animals each year.”