Springtime is the right time to talk about litter. This is the best time to collect your friends and do a neighborhood clean-up before mowers break it up into tiny pieces and wind and water carry it into our waterways. But you can help by stopping litter before it starts and cleaning up what you see.
You may be thinking, “It’s just one piece of litter. What’s the big deal?”. Let’s take a look at the impact of just one piece of litter…
Plastic is the most littered item. Look around! There is a lot of it. In addition, it is lightweight and is easily moved by wind and water. Microplastics are a huge problem! Scientists have even recently found them in humans. The best way to prevent plastic litter is to avoid using it. Replacing things like plastic bags, plastic water bottles, and other single-use plastics with durable reusables makes a huge difference in waste and litter produced.
Sure, the apple core that gets tossed out of the car is biodegradable, but it is also litter. Small animals seek it as a food source and birds of prey are often hit by cars while hunting those small animals. Prime hunting times and rush hour occur at about the same time. Take your apple core home and put it in the compost pile. Don’t have one? Don’t know how to make one? We can show you how.
Avoid them!? But if you can’t, make sure to cut all of the rings and dispose of them in the trash. They are not a recyclable type of plastic and pose a choking risk to wildlife.
Cigarette butts and E-Cig Cartridges
If it’s not good for you, it’s not good for the environment! Cigarette butts and e-cigarette cartridges float and are carried into storm drains, ditches, and eventually into rivers and streams. Cigarettes contain toxic materials and plastics. Those harmful plastics break down into microplastics that harm flora and fauna in our waterways.
Small plastic containers that once held food are attractive to small animals who can get trapped in them. Brittle, sun-exposed plastic breaks into tiny pieces that are frequently ingested by birds and fish. Avoiding plastic and securely placing containers in recycling bins are easy fixes.
Remember, the best way to keep our community clean is by stopping litter before it starts! Do your part by committing to put your trash where it belongs, securely in a recycling bin or trash can.
Feeling inspired to do more? Gather a group and sign up for Hendricks County Clean Water Partnership’s Spring Clean-Up coming up in just a couple of weeks!