Effects of Littering on the Environment

Effects of Littering on the Environment

Effects of littering on the environment

If you have ever wondered about the severe impacts that litter can have on the environment, we are going to give you a bit of insight. Everyone is familiar with litter – it is part of everyday life and the majority of people don’t take any notice of it when it is rolling down the street; seen as part of the natural environment. Of course, it isn’t and should be disposed of in the correct way.

The future of the environment is a scary place when analysing the severity of the implications associated with dumped waste.

The top causes of litter include:

  • Pedestrians: Deliberately dropping litter when walking down the street
  • Households: Throwing rubbish into bins which gets dumped on landfill
  • Motorists: Throwing rubbish out of windows
  • Events: Dumping rubbish in fields due to the lack of bins present
  • Illegal: The dumping of illegal waste on sites


The effects of such littering can have detrimental effects on not just the land, but also oceans, rivers, streams, wildlife and even pets.

Water can become contaminated through dumping rubbish onto the ground and feeding into sewers. Through this, diseases can be spread and eventually enters oceans and rivers. The implications of this can be severe. Smaller fish eat the waste, which are then eaten by larger fish and the chain continues. Once those fish are caught by fishermen out at sea, we are essentially eating our own rubbish we once threw away.

Likewise, sea turtles have been known to mistake floating plastic bags for jelly fish; which are digested and therefore cause serious issues on their bodies. Many sea turtles die from consuming plastic. Animals may become trapped within the packaging of cans, often for long periods of time.  Due to this, they are likely to become deformed or even die, due to the fact that the restriction has made them grow at a slower pace and prevents crucial organs from developing properly.

In terms of the environment itself, waste which takes generations to decompose can harm the soil and ground; by adding toxic elements onto the surface. Waste such as cigarettes, televisions, computers and even phones can hazardous, therefore it is best to find out where to dispose of them in the correct manner. The toxic elements may seep into the underground water; affecting the drinking water for humans which is later consumed. In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, humans need to be free of germ and disease in order to survive. The is an extremely scary thought, which needs to be resolved for our own safety.

When humans dump rubbish, they may not be aware of the consequences their actions have on the environment and wildlife; but also themselves. What is needed is a greater level of education which teaches youngsters about the dangers of fly tipping and the effects it will have for not the current time, but for years to come.