COMMENT: First step to caring for the planet starts on your street

In these ecologically-challenged times, with worries about climate change, air and sea pollution, and concern over the general health of our planet, it is hard to understand why litter in the streets remains a problem.

Saturday, 4th November 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 11:58 am

Yet Southsea residents are sufficiently concerned about the problem in their community that they have launched a clean-up campaign on social media.

Meanwhile Portsmouth City Council is launching a new effort to raise awareness of the problem and crack down on the island’s litterbugs.

The Southsea drive against litter has been prompted by a growing problem at one of the area’s best-loved leisure spots, Canoe Lake.

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Resident Chantelle Burton, who enjoys regular walks around the lake, says the litter problem is currently the worst she has ever seen.

Few things in life, apart maybe from accidentally walking in a dollop of dog’s mess on a pavement, are as dispiriting as wading through piles of litter or debris on the street, or, worse, in a beauty spot.

We know the harm pollution can cause wildlife, but dropping litter diminishes the quality of life for everyone, particularly in a crowded human habitat like Portsea Island.

Yet some people seem to think it is perfectly acceptable to discard a crisp packet, drink bottle, or worse, still, a cigarette butt, wherever they happen to be.

It isn’t. Look for a litter bin. If you can’t find one, take the rubbish home with you and put it in your own rubbish.

Because rubbish is what it is, and nobody wants to see other people’s rubbish making the place look untidy.

Weep for the walruses and polar bears, or the bleached coral reefs on Blue Planet tomorrow night.

And then remember that the first step towards looking after our planet is looking after our neighbourhoods. That means no litter!