Someone Else’s Problem!

Hooray! A welcome litter-free downstream view of the River Stour from Pratt’s Wharf, courtesy of a recent flood. It’s excellent news for me, not having to look at floating and static plastic litter here today, but not so good for river and ocean wildlife and coastal communities that will shortly be living amongst West Midland’s unwanted rubbish. We have polluted our world. Many people have made fortunes processing our waste materials, but too much long-life trash is escaping down our waterways to become someone else’s problem. We need to wake up! Turning a blind eye to plastic litter washing through our canals, streams and rivers is everyone’s problem. If the UK can motivate and legislate to beat air pollution, why can’t we do the same for waterborne pollution? I have great admiration for those people prepared to give up their free time and energies to pick rubbish in their local areas and dispose of it correctly time and time again.

15 Comments on “Someone Else’s Problem!

  1. Ditto! Perhaps it should be a requirement of our councils that there is regular local litter picking days. Or maybe there could be a reduction in council taxes for those that volunteer. Our incentive should of course be the planet and our place on it but some need more encouragement. I have done several days on this activity but nowhere near enough considering the amount of crap that is out there.


    • I think it is probably a matter of getting out there and do something for the environment now, followed by legislation. A growing active movement of people against litter is a good start: activism, motivation, promotion and lobbying.


  2. If customers refused to buy plastic wrapped goods, suppliers would change….but I agree that some competent government action is much needed. It is unfortunate that they seem to believe that ‘the market’ will sort everything out when clearly ‘the market’ is creating the problem in this case.


    • I think demand causes the problem, and that suppliers have the wrong solutions. Perhaps we should return to a make do and mend culture, but going back rarely provides better solutions. We should go forward with sustainability, and maybe we are already beginning to move in this direction.


      • I hope so but it is still hard to buy things not wrapped in plastic unless you are lucky to live near a environmentally sensitive shop.


      • I think that weare going in the right direction but it is both the pace and the competence of the administration that worries me. The situation isn’t helped by a plethora of so called think tanks funded by climate change ignorers who mange to get themselves into the public eye.


      • Yes. However we get there, it’s going to be a long battle.

        If you look at the time it has taken, to build Rome, it is probably best to concentrate on long-term goals.


  3. My husband goes out walking each day, and once or twice a week takes a big black sack with him and picks up all the rubbish along his way (he never actually talks about doing this, I just kind of found out). When he was unwell and not walking, I noticed a real increase in the rubbish along the roadside. Thing is, if one person leaves litter, then others don’t have any compunction about adding to the mess. There are other people in this small Border town who clear up rubbish, just independently, quietly, so the place stays couthy; it is good to live in a place where people feel they have a responsibility to their surroundings, even if the same people wouldn’t dream of throwing rubbish here and there and everywhere.


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