People are 59% more likely
to drop litter when outside their home Town
THE people of Britain are generally a
caring lot bursting with civic pride and a hatred for people who drop litter on
the streets of their Town or city, it's been revealed.
However, it's an attitude that evaporates completely when they hit the road or
visit another Town, a national waste management company has found.
According to the BusinessWaste.co.uk management company, people are around four
times more likely to litter the streets of another Town, with litterbugs most
likely to strike by throwing their rubbish out of their car window. "Brits are the kind of people who get positively outraged if they find an
empty beer can in their front garden. But it appears that they think nothing of doing
exactly that when they're away from home." says BusinessWaste.co.uk
spokesperson Mark Hall.
This surprising and 2 faced attitude is backed up by a survey of 250 people who
were prepared to speak candidly and anonymously about their attitude to litter:-
► 98% said they would be angry if they found litter on their front doorstep.
► 89% said they'd never drop litter in their home
► 55% said they'd say something if they saw somebody
dropping litter in their home Town.
► 41% told us that they would actively pick up litter in their own street or
centre if they thought it was unsightly.
On the other hand:-
► 59% admitted to dropping litter in another Town, or on the road.
► Of these, 71% said they had dropped litter in the street; and 72% said they had
dropped litter; including cigarette ends; out of their car window.
► Only 3% said they'd ever been stopped by a local because they have dropped
Despite these contradictory results, there appears to be public appetite for
throwing the book at offenders:-
► 68% said they would support a rise in the current £75 fixed penalty for
littering to at least £100.
► 1 person's response was typical:- "I love my
Town, and I've shouted out
kids who drop their sweet wrappers. But I always chuck my ciggie butts out of
the car window; they're biodegradable, aren't they?"
Cigarette waste made up the majority of littering to which people admitted, in
both their home Towns or elsewhere, followed by fast food wrappers, sweet
wrappers and drinks bottles or cans.
Lit cigarette butts are particularly dangerous on the open road as they can
cause grass fires; and the heavy metals and poisons are not typically
biodegradable, and can poison local water tables. BusinessWaste.co.uk says that
even though there are fewer smokers in the UK, the amount of cigarette waste in
our streets has actually increased over the past few years because of the
smoking ban on most indoor premises.
"Even though people say they don't litter their home Town, they may be
doing it unconsciously as a smoker, or simply dropping a wrapper without
thinking. In fact, resort Towns aside
where the visitor population can outnumber the locals in peak season, we think
the majority of litter on Town and City streets in the UK is generated by the
home population." says Mark Hall.
But it's on main roads between urban areas that goes to prove how little people
think about flinging their waste any which way, says Business Waste. Hall says:-
"Every year, our waste operators have to risk their lives picking litter
from grass verges on major roads. The end result is
tens of tons of cans, bottles and food wrappers. Home Town pride goes right out
of the window on a car journey, it seems."
BusinessWaste.co.uk has a simple message for people who litter Towns, highways
and the countryside:- "Take it home, and put it in the bin. If it's
recyclable, recycle it."
Unfortunately, Hall says, it's a message that's still not getting through.