Jul 21 2016

When did we get so dirty?

Now that I live near the sea I find myself increasingly frustrated by the amount of litter, especially on the beaches. It is amazing how much it has increased since the holiday season has started as well. I started out wanting to be an environmentalist because of a Leatherback sea turtle project I worked on when I was 19 in Costa Rica. It totally changed my life and inspired me, especially when I found out that it was our plastic waste that was killing the turtles, more than any poachers from the local village.

Fast forward 20+ years and the issue of marine plastics is greater still and we don’t seem any closer

to solving it. Now there’s a challenge I like the sound of! I don’t know if we, as a nation, are getting dirtier and our littering is getting worse, or if it is just more obvious as councils have had their budgets cut.

The cleaning up of streets and flytipping is pretty good where I live in East Devon. Even so, the pictures below are a few of the ones I took on a short 4km dog walk from my house the other evening. There were 14 in total. Interestingly there was no litter on the roads where the cars can’t go, or in the fields, so it does suggest this is coming from passing car drivers. Hard to catch them on country lanes that aren’t especially busy. When I was walking I met 2 cars, 1 horse and 1 person (the horse and person were together!) but it is busy during rush hour. Is this when the littering is happening? What can we do about it? Is it the job of the council to just clean it up, or can we stop it from happening in the first place? What do you think?

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