Be responsible – take your litter home when out and about

To the Editor:

Today I rode my bicycle up and down Louisa Street to clean up the roadside ditches.

Louisa street borders the north-east corner of Southampton. It runs east-west, parallel to Clarendon, from Anglesia to Carlisle and is about one km in length. It took me 90 minutes to pick up garbage on both sides of the street.

The most common items I collected were Tim Horton’s coffee cups, plastic building wrap, beer cans, fast food pop cups with straws, and plastic pop bottles. Someone even hid a big, plastic tub of drywall compound in the trees, right beside an empty wine bottle. Paper coffee cups are coated in a plastic film so they do not biodegrade harmlessly, and they are not recyclable. Even beer cans, plastic food packaging, and plastic bottles are not recyclable if they are coated in muck.

My message to people who like to enjoy beverages in their vehicle, is to consider two alternatives.

First, sit and enjoy a break in pub instead of drinking and driving. If it’s coffee you are drinking, get out of the car and relax in the coffee shop. Ask to have your beverage put in a ceramic cup. Is it really necessary to get a single use cup that just ends up in the garbage? If your favorite fast food outlet won’t fill your reusable cup, give your business to a small, independent shop that will. I know there are shops in our town that offer an incentive if you use a reusable cup. Let the big chains know that they need to change the way they do business, for the good of the environment.

Second, if you must drink or eat while driving, kindly take your litter home and dispose of it responsibly. Where is the logic in tossing it out the window?

Convenience comes at a cost to us all. Just because something is the “norm”, doesn’t make it acceptable.

Jenn Tuff