No Excuse for Liverpool's Litter Louts
No Excuses for Liverpool’s Litter Louts
Litter blights beauty spots, our local streets, parks, and motorways. It looks unsightly, and it harms wildlife, so why do people litter? Research has found these common reasons behind why people litter:
This comes down to how people choose to behave. Research shows that 81% of littering in public spaces is intentional. This could be flicking a cigarette away, or just dropping a food wrapper for example. If people believe that it is wrong to litter, though, they are less likely to do so.
Litter attracts litter
People are more likely to drop litter if the environment is covered in litter. An area that is full of litter looks uncared for and gives the message that we don’t care about our area, so why should you? A clean community discourages littering. The availability of recycling and waste bins is also a factor in whether or not someone chooses to litter.
‘It’s not my responsibility’
Some people think that it’s someone else’s job to clear up litter.
Where do people litter?
Surveys have found that litter is dropped on roads, and in retail, recreational and residential areas.
On the roads:
Most litter is tobacco and related products, mostly cigarette butts. These are closely followed by paper and plastic. Motorists and pedestrians are responsible for most of this litter and the rest comes from unsecured lorry loads or bins that are not secured adequately.
Off the roads:
Litter tends to be dropped in business entrances, and places where litter has to be discarded before entering. Chewing gum, sweet wrappers, and cigarette butts make up a lot of this waste. Litter can also collect around storm drains, in parks, on beaches, and near retail outlets, especially fast food restaurants.
Liverpool’s ‘litter squad’
Liverpool council now has a ‘litter squad’ which has fined 2,000 people since it started work to clean up the city. The team of 17 officers from a private firm who has joined forces with the council have been called intimidating by residents. Many residents duly paid their on the spot fines, which are an £80 fixed penalty, but many have refused, and they have come up with some rather baffling excuses as to why they shouldn’t have to pay a fine.
Here are some of the actual excuses that the Liverpudlian litterbugs gave for thinking that they were not guilty of littering when they were caught red-handed:
‘I was resting the litter underneath my foot’
‘Because the council don’t clean up the leaves’
‘I brush outside my shop every Friday so I shouldn’t be getting fined’
‘It’s raining so I didn’t want to walk to the bin’
‘Everyone else does it
‘I’m keeping the litter picker in a job’
‘I was coming back to get that later’