Since I joined my current job, I’ve been part of the litter picking society. Apart from the obvious environmental benefits, it was a nice way to spend a lunch hour and socialise with colleagues who were keen to make a difference. Due to lockdown, it’s been near impossible to participate but as restrictions ease, I’ve been getting involved with litter picks again.
The litter has been dreadful at a local beach, where crowds have flocked with the sunny weather. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for people enjoying themselves after a difficult year but there has been absolutely no need for the rubbish I’ve encountered!
A right mess
Broken glass, cans, bottles, plastic, sanitary products, drugs and discarded clothing are just some of the items I’ve come across. On one morning, a team of volunteers, including myself, cleared around 50 rubbish bags-worth of litter. It was ridiculous!
Not always practical
Of course, I’m happy to help but it’s not sustainable for me (or other volunteers) to do so. Like many others, I have a full-time job and a very busy life. It’s a shame that we feel the need to clean up after the lazy and ignorant.
Sure, we don’t have to do it. But a lot of us can’t sit back and ignore the situation. My main priority is to protect innocent animals and wildlife. Why should they suffer at the expense of thoughtless humans? As an animal lover, here are some reasons to pick up your litter, taken from the RSPCA website:
• Animals can climb inside plastic bags and suffocate, or attempt to eat them and choke.
• Animals looking for food can get trapped in containers or cans and injured by sharp edges.
• Elastic bands can in fact wrap around small animals and the beaks of birds. If swallowed they can also cause choking.
• Fishing tackle is responsible for the injury of thousands of wild animals every year with animals getting entangled in line and hooks which can pierce skin or be swallowed.
• Broken glass can also cause serious injury and animals can sometimes get trapped in jars.
Our beaches (and other public spaces) are beautiful, natural treasures that are here for all of us to explore and enjoy together! The very least we can do is keep them clean and safe!