9 Alarming  Facts about Littering That Might Surprise You

Littering is one of those things that no upside. It is an eyesore, it spread dirt and bacteria, it’s an expensive problem to deal with and it harms the planet. Yet people continue to litter and as our population grows the litter problem only increases. Here are some facts about littering that may come as a shock to you.

Nearly all Litter Ends up in the Ocean

plastics in the ocean

The argument could be made that people would be less likely to throw rubbish straight into the sea than they would in the street. But the fact is that the large majority of litter ends up in the ocean. In fact, 9 billion tonnes of rubbish finds its way into the sea every year, which is a staggering statistic. Even more staggering is the fact that there are currently 5.25 trillion pieces of plastics in the ocean right now.

Littering Costs us all Money

It’s one thing to think about the cost by way of harm to the environment that comes as a result of littering, but it’s easy to forget about the real price we pay in dollar terms. Victoria alone spends about $43.5 million for cleaning up litter. This is a huge amount of taxpayers’ money and if we were able to reduce the litter problem at least a portion of this could be spent on other important things.

Cigarette Butts Pose a Serious Problem

Many of us don’t think twice when we see a smoker toss away a cigarette butt. But in actual fact, cigarette butts are a big problem for the environment and arguably are more of a threat than any other litter item. In fact, cigarette butts make about half of the total number of littered objects and can take as long 10 years to decompose. Just another reason for smokers to consider quitting!

The most Littered Item is Fast Food Packaging

Interestingly, fast food wrappers, including plastic, cardboard and paper are the most littered object. Statistics show that the chance of people littering these kinds of items increases greatly on highways.

People on the Move are More Likely to Litter

The previous point illustrates that those in a hurry are more likely to litter. Pedestrians and motorists litter the most, likely because they are too lazy to stop and find a rubbish bin. If you’re getting fast food, a lot of the time you’ll be on your way somewhere, for example.

Litter Harms Economic Growth

Studies show that littering can excess litter in a particular area can hamper the chance for growth in the long term. This is largely due to the fact businesses are less likely to establish themselves in highly populated areas and will instead choose to set up in cleaner communities. Also, these areas tend to have lower property values and greater levels of crime.

Most Deliberate Litterers are Aged Between 18 and 34

People within this age bracket are the most likely to litter, with older folks and children generally being more responsible. This may suggest that a respect for the environment is developed as people get older. Data also shows that men are more likely to litter than women.

Many Animals Die as a Result of Littering

marin waste in the ocean

Another incredible statistic is the fact that one million birds and 100 thousand sea animals are killed every year as a result if being trapped in or eating some litter item. This includes everything from sea turtles and other reptiles to whales, dolphins and sharks. The main threat to these animals are plastic bags that find their way into the ocean and can be mistaken for food and swallowed.

As you can see, littering out of laziness or convenience is simply not worth it. Always do your part to dispose of your rubbish thoughtfully and over time your actions will make all the difference. Contact Metropolitan Bin Hire for rubbish removal and skip bin hire services in Melbourne.

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