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Litter . Keep Britain Tidy ?

(86 Posts)
MissTree Wed 03-Jun-20 11:49:24

When we visited Japan we were struck by how free of litter it was at least wherever we went. I asked a guide and she said the first thing the little children learn at school is how to clean their tables and classrooms.
I know teachers are expected to do practically everything these days. ‘Twas ever thus. My father was head of a primary school and I remember him telling us he used to wash one little girl’s hair regularly because she had nits. Heaven knows what would happen if they did that today .

What can we do about the awful mess visitors leave behind at beauty spots ?
At grammar school we had a litter picking rota. Should we bring back Keep Britain Tidy ?

Calendargirl Wed 03-Jun-20 12:36:17

We also had ‘litter duty’ rotas at Grammar school. Think it was mainly the first formers who had to do it, grudgingly.

When did Keep Britain Tidy start? In the 60’s?

We have so much more stuff that is littered which wasn’t around back then. Plastic bottles, beer and soft drink cans, take away containers, plastic carrier bags...... the list goes on.

If people aren’t bothered and simply don’t care, nothing will change. The attitude is ‘someone else will pick it up, it’s the councils job, I can’t be bothered to walk ten yards to that bin.....’

Squiffy Wed 03-Jun-20 13:21:07

Why don't people just take it home with them if there are no bins handy? We have always taken a bag with us to shove all the rubbish in after we've had a picnic etc., it's not difficult. I was left speechless years ago when the son of someone, who was a cleaning and tidying fanatic, just dropped his sweet wrappers as he walked along. I made a point of picking them up, which made the penny drop! But why??!!

Tilly712 Wed 03-Jun-20 13:34:12

I agree, the amount of litter around where I live is shocking. I was brought up to 'Take Your Litter Home', and have brainwashed my kids and now my DGS and will do same with my 1yr DGD. Our local ASDA is next door to the High School and the litter dropped the short distance between the two is shocking. Kids buy their sandwiches, cans of juice and sweets and the litter is thrown on the walk back to the school. Neither the School, ASDA or the local council are interested in stopping or helping it. All the back roads around here (we live in the country) have mountains of fly tipping dumped from cars or left in lay-bys or picnic areas. The local farmers are at their wits end.

ExD Wed 03-Jun-20 13:46:05

We are farmers in the Lake District and it is a nightmare, but for some reason it's increased drastically since Corona invaded us. Last weekend was the worst so far.
Not just wrappers and bottles but single-use barbecues, some still smouldering, human faeces complete with toilet paper, and of course old sofas, mattresses, fridges and such just dumped in hedges.
Then there's the damage - why destroy drystone walls. cut down young trees, tear up fences for bonfires?
It doesn't make sense. Is there a way of posting photos on here - I've got a really shocking one to share!
(I remember litter picks at grammar school too, I suppose now we recognise the health and safety aspect).

Calendargirl Wed 03-Jun-20 14:32:32

Kids buy their sandwiches, cans of juice and sweets, and the litter is thrown on the walk back to the school

Of course, years ago, you either went home for lunch, brought sandwiches, or ate school dinners.
No wandering about buying stuff in town, and dropping the rubbish.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Wed 03-Jun-20 14:38:36

I was brought up to put any rubbish like sweet wrappers in a bin and if one couldn't be found, to put it in my pocket and take it home with me. I still do that to this day.
These messy gits should be put in the village stocks and pelted with their own rubbish - or is that going too far?

Callistemon Wed 03-Jun-20 14:46:09

After viewing the mess left behind at beauty spots last weekend, hearing about the cows driven out of their field by day trippers wanting to get to the river who then left broken bottles behind as well as other litter, I despair.

The country seems to be divided sharply between those who care and are responsible and the feral who care for nothing or no-one except themselves.

MissTree Wed 03-Jun-20 15:19:00

Now this is controversial and I am only saying it tongue in cheek. I remember something about subliminal advertising which is not allowed on TV for obvious reasons.

How about something like public service broadcasting where they could put a message on every day, “Take your litter home”, so it could be subconsciously absorbed into the memory .

Particularly disgusting are bottles of ‘yellow lemonade’ discarded at traffic lights.

How about chain gangs like in the US where prisoners might prefer a day out to sitting in a cell.
“This stretch of motorway is being cared for by Her Majesty’s Inmates ? “

Any other ideas ?

Callistemon Wed 03-Jun-20 15:43:17

What about the police barricading them in until they have picked up every past bit of litter and taken it home?
Of course, there are those who will then throw it all out of the car windows on the way home.

They could make them pick it up and deposit it in the appropriate bin until they are allowed to leave.

But of course the police don't have the resources.

Grannybags Wed 03-Jun-20 15:59:08

No, not going too far lovebeigecardigans

I was brought up to take my litter home and wouldn't dream of dropping/leaving my rubbish behind.

It seems to be a lot worse since lockdown. I wonder why?

sodapop Wed 03-Jun-20 16:12:27

I've just seen pictures of all the litter at Durdle Door including bottles of urine. Seems some people cannot respect the environment or others even when we are in the middle of this crisis. Shameful.

Fennel Wed 03-Jun-20 16:19:34

Waiting at our bus stop, there was a lot of litter around me. A council worker came up and started to clear it so I said "It wasn't me".
"I know" he said. "they're filthy animals." And he has to clean up their mess. What a degrading job.

Callistemon Wed 03-Jun-20 16:36:06

I don't see why prisoners should have to clear up other people's filth, MissTree
Perhaps the feral litter louts should be chained together and made to do it.

Maggiemaybe Wed 03-Jun-20 16:53:18

I’m a sporadic member of a local litter picking group (sporadic because it’s not too well publicised and we keep missing it!). It’s quite therapeutic actually and you do go home with that smug sense of having made a difference.

We find round here that a lot of what we pick up is stuff that’s either blown or been dropped from the recycling boxes left outside. Why people wouldn’t just then stoop to pick it up when they bring their boxes in is beyond me. It’s also obvious that there aren’t enough litter bins, but that’s no excuse.

The horrible photos of the state that beauty spots have been left in lately are so depressing. If you can take food, drink, clean nappies there, why on earth can’t you take the detritus home? angry

MissTree Wed 03-Jun-20 18:15:09

You have a good point, Calli but maybe they could be given the option ?
Catching people is well nigh impossible isn’t it ?
When I saw the photos of Durdle Door I wondered if not clearing it up would deter visitors. Of course that spoils the beach for other more considerate users.
Soon we will have to charge people to use beaches which will include the fees for the clean up . 😕

Aepgirl Thu 04-Jun-20 09:18:10

I really despair about people’s attitude to litter. Why do people expect others to clear up after them? I was always taught, as was my daughter, to bring our rubbish home. I also don’t understand why people don’t keep the outside of their homes, including the pavement, clear of litter.
I was watching a film the other day when a mother was taking her daughter to high school in USA. The daughter dropped a wrapper on the ground and the mother called after her ‘pick that up, you’re not British’ - how embarrassing that that is how we are thought of.

MarieEliza Thu 04-Jun-20 09:26:44

We seem to be a lazy country, I visit USA and Australia and Europe but people take a pride in their surroundings there. In USA where my son lives there are many bins on the beaches and free litter bags to bag up picnics after eating. I say fine the take away shops if their litter is dropped, they would soon warn Their customers if that happened. We have pizza boxes dumped at bus stop. Schools should be telling the children from a young age as many nearby drop everything . Finally fines should be used regularly for offenders

Blondie49 Thu 04-Jun-20 09:28:14

It’s a culture/parenting/teacher approach, we never would have dropped litter when we were growing up. My daughter lived in Japan for 16 years and kids went to Japanese schools. No bins in school ( or anywhere that I went in the country) you take litter home. Kids are not allowed out to shops for lunch/snacks from Primary school. From age of 4 - 6 ( when they enter primary ) they are taught to clean , tidy and serve lunches and be respectful and look after younger ones who start, so by time they go to primary it’s ingrained. They even have rotas in primary for cleaning toilets 😂 Their food malls in shopping centres are a wonder to behold, so clean, sinks for washing hands, everything fresh, you could even leave your bag on table, go to toilet ( again sparkling ) and come back to find it still there !!!! If you want a downside to this it could be that you would find it’s a Nation that definitely does what it’s told.

Callistemon Thu 04-Jun-20 09:31:00

Durdle Door is a private beach so they could just shut it which would be sad and a pity for all those responsible visitors who leave no trace.

Froglady Thu 04-Jun-20 09:31:07

My sister has a house in Northern France and I have never seen any litter in her village or in the local towns - the streets are pristine; the people there care for where they live. That doesn't seem to be the case in Britain. It's not just beauty spots, it's anywhere; people just drop their waste on the ground, even though there are rubbish bins withing easy reach of them. I despair of litter louts, I really do and get depressed seeing all the rubbish around the streets. I am a litter picker and do what I can. I get people seeing me pick up the litter and tell me that it's the council's job to pick up the litter but the council didn't throw it down, it's people like you and me that's doing it.

b1zzle Thu 04-Jun-20 09:31:37

I'm not sure some of the younger generation actually 'see' litter - i.e. the occupant of the flat above mine has bins in the paved front garden, and goes out to them every day, picking her way through the weeds and all the litter.

Maybe they all think of it as 'not my problem'. Maybe they're too used to parents clearing up behind them all their lives. All I know is that my fingers itch to go out there, clear up and do some weeding but it will have to wait until lockdown eases.

Authoress Thu 04-Jun-20 09:35:04

Whenever either of my kids or I go for a walk, we take a bag for rubbish. It used to be quite competitive when they were both at home smile
The WI also organises mass litter picks for the rubbish from the A12. Possibly not this year sad

Taliya Thu 04-Jun-20 09:46:29

I lived in Tokyo, Japan for three years a number of years ago and yes it's very very very clean! Japanese culture is very very different to Western culture. I found it a bit extreme to be honest! but yes here in the UK I think people dropping litter has got a lot worse over the last few years.

Hilltrudger24 Thu 04-Jun-20 09:51:34

Is it any wonder when you see the detritus left at festival sites, disgusting filth and appalling waste. Generations now have become used to leaving it for someone else to deal with. What surprises me is people who are old enough to know better have started to leave their rubbish behind, obviously the behaviour is catching. The prevailing attitude is if no one else is bothering why should I ? It should be made as socially unacceptable as smoking was, that seemed to work.
Road junctions are always disgusting as people take the opportunity to empty their cars at these points.
It is just plain laziness and disrespect for our surroundings and and countryside.
We should start educating people better, stating the cost of cleaning up the tons of rubbish and what this money could be better spent on. Far higher fines for fly tipping and littering and all venues reminding people to pick up their rubbish and place it in recepticles at the exit, instead of sending in low paid workers with black bin bags afterwards.
I have been extremely grateful for the refuse collectors during lockdown as I know how quickly society can descend into chaos if these services are stopped. However the surge in fly tipping and waste left around post lockdown shows most people do not recognise this as essential.
Just as we helped the NHS by stopping in during lockdown we could help the country rebuild by stopping this selfish behaviour and the councils spending the millions saved on social care/ nurseries instead
I am ashamed at the state of this country, it is beginning to look like a third world rubbish dump.