What is litter?
Litter is rubbish that has been left in the wrong place such as paper, cans and bottles left lying on the floor.
Watch A Whale’s Tale to find out why it is important not to litter
Why is litter a problem?
- It is a danger to wildlife
Animals mistake litter for food and eat it or they may get tangled up and die. Small animals can crawl into plastic bottles and get trapped. Birds and seals can get trapped in plastic nets etc)
- It doesn't look very nice!
We all know how horrible it is to look at litter on our streets, parks or by the side of the road. We also know that litter attracts more litter.
We all want to live in a clean area, free of rubbish and litter don’t we?
It’s not just safer for us, our families, friends and pets, but it makes everyone feel more cheerful and happier!
Keeping where we live clean and tidy is the responsibility of everyone!
- It causes pollution and can harm us as humans
Litter can contain toxic substances which can escape and pollute the environment. Chemicals released from litter can get into our water supply and poison us!
Microplastics (tiny pieces of plastic) have also been found in humans – we don’t know what the long term effects of these substances are.
- It can last a long time
Plastic litter is a particular problem because it takes a long time to break down, so remains in the environment for a long time!
It is thought a plastic bottle will take between 70-450 years to break down into tiny pieces called microplastics.
Broken down is equivalent to 5,400 months, or 21,600 weeks or 1,971,000 days just for one single plastic bottle to decompose.
Where does litter come from?
Any rubbish (such as sweet wrappers, receipts or drink bottles) that are not put into a bin and are dropped on the floor is litter. Most litter in Britain is dropped from cars. Fast food packaging is also a big problem as it is dropped from cars after they have eaten their lunch or tea. Litter dropped on roads can be washed into rivers and then out to sea!
What can we do to help?
Here in Blackburn with Darwen, we want to live in a tidy and clean town.
Here are our top tips for reducing litter:
- Always take your rubbish home
If you’re out on a walk, always take your rubbish home with you if there isn’t a bin around.
- Reduce your packaging
If you’re out on a picnic, try and use the least amount of packaging.
- Bring sandwiches in reusable containers, rather than clingfilm.
- Use a refillable bottle and avoid products in plastic
- Do you want to help tackle the litter problem?
Did you know you can join over 1700 volunteers and sign up to become a Keep It Tidy Volunteer.
You have to be over 16 to apply, so let who’s looking after you at home know about the scheme and sign up to go litter picking with your family.
This way if you see a discarded crisp packet, can, bottle or any litter when out and about, you can pick it up (with your litter picker!)
- Spread the word!
Make sure all your family and friends know that it is not ok to drop litter!
- Organise a school litter pick
Blackburn with Darwen Council have a set of child sized litter pickers that we lend out for free. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
Do your bit – help Blackburn with Darwen stay clean! Remember to dispose of your litter correctly – every bit you pick up is one less piece of rubbish entering our environment and harming wildlife.