Things You Can Do to Prevent Littering in Your Neighbourhood
Nearly all our trash ends up in the ocean, with plastics being the biggest problem across the world today. There’s over 8 million tons of plastic being dumped in our oceans every year, and around half of the plastic being manufactured is intended for single-use only - meaning they are thrown as soon as they have been used once. If they don’t make it to the recycling bin, they can end up in landfills or our waters.
Sadly, many people still litter, even when there are perfectly good bins that can be used. And in many communities, people are likely to follow the crowd and act as their neighbours act. Our attitude towards littering has been so lax in fact, that we are now even littering in space!
So how can we make a change and set an example to keep our streets litter-free? Here are some ways you can prevent littering in your neighbourhood:
Have a secure bin
One of the biggest littering problems is done inadvertently when bin lids blow off during windy weather. Replace inadequate bins with ones that are secure, or weigh down bin lids during gales and high winds. If a neighbour’s bin blows over, help them pick the rubbish back up and inform them of what has happened. It may encourage them to think of better solutions.
Recommend household disposal services
Having a little black book of disposal services will be handy, not just for you, but for people next door or across the road when they need to get rid of something that doesn’t fit in the regular trash. Two thirds of fly-tipping are because of household waste. Despite it being illegal, people are still doing it. If you see a neighbour with waste to throw away, don’t be afraid to give them a friendly recommendation for recycling.
Start a neighbourhood initiative
The Barker family in Nuneaton set up a recycling station on their driveway to encourage their neighbours to recycle instead of throwing things in the trash (or even worse, on the street). Their incredible effort has saved a tonne of plastic from ending up in incinerators, and has helped educate their street about the importance of recycling. If you don’t have the space for a project like this, it can be helpful to ask local schools or businesses to set up recycling bins on their sites for local people to access.
Recycle in the home
Setting an example inside your home is an important step. Educate your children about the negative effects of littering and the growing problem of landfills, and make sure they know which materials can be recycled and where. Have dedicated, clearly-labelled bins or baskets in your house to encourage kids to get into the habit of recycling.
Live a Zero Waste Lifestyle
If you really want to make a difference in your home town or city, aim to live a zero waste lifestyle. Avoid single-use plastics at all costs, and only buy materials that can be reused or recycled in some way. Something as simple as boycotting plastic straws and replacing them with reusable metal ones is a good place to start.