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Global environmental issues are on the rise. We’ve seen many saddening news stories highlighting case after case of our neglect for nature and wildlife costing many lives.
From whales dying after consuming dumped plastic bottles and flip-flops to sharks getting trapped in abandoned netting or wire. It’s obvious, the majority of us seem to disregard the impact that litter has both in the ocean and on the land.
Littering is affecting not only our wildlife but humans too.
Toxic water or soil runoff infects crops which is then often consumed by animals. This is damaging to their health. Illnesses are often then passed onto humans as we eat their meat or other products.
With that in mind, there’s an urgency to start tackling the effects of littering on the environment.
From sorting your household waste into the right bins to taking part in beach cleans ups and more, there are plenty of ways you can make your mark to contribute to a better world.
So we’re going to outline the top 7 easy ways to help stop littering!
But first, let’s take a look at some littering statistics:
Even if you stay up to date with global news you’ll still find it a shock when you see the number of environmental issues which are published.
Studies in 2018 taught us the many consequences of littering on our ecosystem:
Shockingly, there are more and more detrimental effects of littering that are being uncovered. Below are 7 simple solutions so that you too can help combat the world’s littering problems.
Most of us will have specific recycling bins to sort plastic waste, food waste and general waste but helping at home doesn’t stop there. The next step is to help beautify your home to contribute to a nicer street and overall prettier town.
Help to tidy up any litter in the street, encourage wildlife into your garden through building hedgehog homes from old hanging baskets, planting flowers for bees and feeding the birds.
If everyone in the town did their part to remove waste from harming the environment, as well as encouraging it by embracing nature into your gardens, you’re sure to see wildlife bloom.
Tip: Plant flowers alongside pathways, in town centres and encourage businesses to hang baskets outside their stores.
Regulation is being put in place to help businesses go “paperless”. That means that companies that would normally print files and send out letters through the post, are now encouraged to store files in secure online systems and send letters digitally through email.
To help you can opt out of paper statements from your bank or insurance company, ask for PDF documents instead of paper handouts and read books online using a Kindle or similar.
A ‘no littering’ sign is a great way to help increase awareness of what a monumental issue littering actually is.
However, littering signs can get ignored as they’re believed to almost “blend” into our environment. As a driver, you see lots of road signs every day which, in most cases, can be the same as seeing a tree or a plant. You expect them, they’re extremely familiar and so, they don’t really act as a “stand-out-from-the-crowd” sign which catches your eye.
Thinking back to the ‘no littering’ signs, it’s important to make sure that alongside the government provided signs, you’re doing your bit as a company, neighbourhood and school to create inspiring artwork, murals or posters, to really address the problems of littering.
We’ve mentioned going paperless in the workplace but sadly the biggest issue many offices still face is recycling. If offices do have recycling facilities, they’re often not used properly or worst, they don’t have them at all.
It’s important as an employee that you work to ensure your employees are effectively distributing their waste. Our range of internal recycling bins can be used to improve recycling within your business.
Two of the most common items which end up in our oceans are the plastic water bottle and the plastic bag.
There have been many cases where whales and other species have been found dead from unintentionally filling their stomachs with our plastic waste.
In order to avoid this problem from reoccurring, it’s important that we reduce our plastic waste. The government introduced legislation so we now must pay 5p for a plastic bag at the supermarkets, helping us to reduce the number of bags sold.
It’s also encouraged to buy a bag for life so that we can reuse our shopping bags without worrying they’ll break or that we’ll have to replace them frequently.
Moreover, although there isn’t a strict rule on it yet, another way you can help to save our ocean life is to stop using plastic bottles and instead, invest in a reusable bottle.
You can buy them for as little as £1 from a range of different high street stores.
Currently, in the UK 19% of the adult population are smokers leading to smoking being the largest cause of cancer in the UK. Although smoking predominantly harms the individual participating in the activity, there are many ways it harms other people and the environment too.
The main way that smoking harms the environment is from the cigarettes themselves being littered both on land and in the ocean.
Cigarette butts are often consumed by smaller animals mistaking them as food, which then poisons this wildlife and in most cases, causes a loss of life.
Disposing of cigarette butts correctly in specialist litter bins such as the Lucifer Cigarette Bin, will help to eliminate waste but also reduce the risk of fires too.
Even if you do everything you can to ensure you’re disposing of waste in the correct way, storms or accidents that cause bins to topple over and spill can mean your carefully recycled rubbish damages the environment unintentionally.
A big item that is often littered is paper. With it being lightweight and easily taken by the wind, it can be hard to ensure it safely gets transported from your home to your bins, to your waste disposal personal to refuse sites.
A good way to help prevent this from happening is to ball up the loose paper making it slightly heavier and harder to fly away.
You may be thinking “but isn’t paper biodegradable?” and though a lot of it is, some paper has dangerous chemicals printed onto it which can hurt the environment when it does degrade.
Don’t leave it to chance, ball up your loose paper before you place it in the recycling bin.
The littering stats above show only a handful of the shocking effects it has on the environment. It’s over to you to put these simple solutions into practice…
Using our list of littering solutions starts at home. If you can ensure you’re recycling at home and helping to keep your street respectable and litter-free, you’re more likely to reduce waste in the workplace, on the business park, in the city, in the country and ultimately, worldwide.
Have you ever seen somebody dropping rubbish? It’s your job to help report littering which can be done using this link.
Did you know? There’s a littering fine that can add up to around £2,500 depending on what you’re caught littering. Ensure you don’t get caught by choosing to stop littering.