Community spirit comes in many forms and in the summer those of us who have the spirit in bucketloads are left to pick up after those who drink spirit in vast quantities.
I’m all for going out, having a few beers with friends and taking a barbecue to the beach (my dog is certainly all for that – he can’t resist a bit of burnt sausage and burger fat and has been known to run many miles with barbecued meat flapping out from either side of his jaws, the ultimate prize). What I am not so much for is the amount of litter that is left.
Yes, I know sometimes bins are overflowing and garbage is left piled up by a bin ready for when my dog has a bonanza moment (much against my shrieking anxiety from the other side of the field).
What angers me is the stuff left on the fields, or the beach – masses of bottles and wrappers, as if the people responsible have been picked up and stolen by aliens. Sadly I know that’s not true, there is no alien responsible as surely they would have more respect.
Rubbish, once in the sea, takes about three years to cross the ocean to America. There’s another place called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is said to be thousands of miles wide, comprising plastic particles. So that water bottle left on the beach might not seem much to some, but actually, it’s a killer.
Worst of all though is glass, smashed on the shoreline or grass and left in big shards ready to cut feet or paws to ribbons. One day a large puddle my dog frequents was full of smashed glass. What kind of thought process makes that OK? In fact, I suspect there is little thought process at all – if any. It’s just appalling behaviour.
It is up to all of us to pick up the mess and not simply walk by or leave it to the official litter picker.
Not all groups of people, be they families or friends, take their responsibility seriously, but by walking by, we all condone their actions.
We say to everyone else that sees us that it is OK to drop litter, and it is OK to ignore bottles, wrappers and tins. It is not. It’s time that as a community we picked it up, and if we see people about to leave their picnic area, we should politely remind them to take their rubbish home.