Dangers of Littering Essay
1397 Words6 Pages
It may seem harmless and innocent, but littering is an unhealthy habit people of all ages in each country do every day. Littering is a second nature to some people; after doing it for so long and often, they do not realize they do it. As more and more people continue to litter, environments, animals, and humans are being harmed by people’s carless actions. Americans, as well as all humans, need to be more aware of how hazardous and costly littering is to the world and the creatures living in it. Littering shows lack of respect for the world, and needs to be prevented in order for future generations to live in a clean and healthy environment. Littering is the act of disposing of trash and unwanted materials improperly. The effects of…show more content…
Orange and banana peels have the potential to last up to five to six weeks when disposed of on land (“Litter Facts”, 15). Other objects which are considered as litter are glass bottles, plastic bottles and bags, paper, tobacco products, and food wrappers (“Litter Prevention”, 14 & 17). Anything on the ground or in the water which is not naturally there is considered as litter. People litter in a number of areas across the Earth on land and water. The most popular areas for people to litter are roadways, transition points (entrances to businesses/buildings), loading docks, recreational areas, and construction sites (“Litter Prevention”, 13). Roadways are the most popular locations for litter, with 52% of motorists and 22.8% of pedestrians disposing of their trash along roads as they drive, walk, or bike (“Litter Prevention”, 15). United States roads and highways are littered with over 51 billion pieces of garbage each year, which equals about 6,729 items of trash per mile (“Litter Prevention”, 3). Transition points are the second most popular location for litter to build up. Wrappers and food make up 53.7% of the litter in these areas, and tobacco products make up 29.8% (“Litter Prevention”, 17). Before people enter businesses they choose to throw their trash on the ground instead of in the provided waste can, or the waste can is too full to hold trash, resulting in overflowing waste cans. Loading docks, recreational areas,
First, let me start off by saying, we have all seen litter. If you live in the city you see it every day. But, did you know that because of this litter, the litter that is just a part of every day life, there is an island of trash two times the size of Texas floating in the Pacific ocean? Just think about that. You know how big your city is? Now think of your state. Now Texas. Now think of two of Texas side by side. Now imagine that is made of trash. That is a lot of trash, and the sea life is dying because of it. I had heard of this “trash island” before but I found an article on the New York Times website that I found really interesting and informative. You can check that out here.
Litter washed up on shore from the Pacific (Above)
The biggest source of litter is cigarette butts. Though small they can be very dangerous. The butts contain harmful chemicals, including arsenic, that can contaminate water and soil. The problem is that there are so many of them lying on the ground. For example: I was waiting for the bus the other day and saw just a few cigarette butts, but as I looked more, I counted at least 20 of them within 5 feet of me. So now cigarettes can harm us even if we don’t smoke.
Cigarette butts lying in the street (Above)
In doing my research I also found this very interesting website that had tons of information, some of which included a pie chart on the most common litter. I did not realize until later, when I came across the same organization’s clean up project for a different year, that this information was for Australia. It made me realize that littering is not just a problem in America, but around the world, and that other countries have similar organizations that have the same mission. You can check out that website here, and the pdf for their annual “Rubbish Report” here.
My bibliography is on a public google document. You can check it out here.