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The Importance Of Picking Up Litter

1 July 2021
The Importance Of Picking Up Litter

Litter: we've all seen it in places it shouldn't be and we have all probably contributed to it, intentionally or not, at some point in our lives.

The last few years has seen a significant improvement in our education regarding litter and it's effect on the environment. As a result there has been a rise in the number of people giving up their own spare time to grab a bag and a litter picker, be it on one of our store Rubbish Walks, in another organised group or of their own accord. The importance of this effort is huge for our natural world and we want to help maintain that momentum and do our bit to leave no trace whenever we enjoy the outdoors. (Please note: Ellis Brigham Rubbish Walks have been on hold due to the pandemic but we hope to have them up and running again soon!)

Many of us would be appalled at dropping litter in the present day but are also happy to walk straight on by without picking it up when we see it on the ground. This isn't good enough, the only way to improve the global litter situation is by being collectively proactive.

While you may think you'd never be one to litter, how many times have you lost the tissue that was in your pocket or had the wind blow something completely out of reach when halfway up a hill, or even as a child discarded snack wrappers nonchalantly because the only important thing in that moment is getting the food in your mouth because you are 3 and haven't quite learnt about littering yet. Unfortunately, it's an occupational hazard of simply being human.

30 year old snack packet credit Lauren Horncastle

A 30 year old snack packet found on a recent litter
pick by Guildford & Woking Litterpicking! Photo: Lauren Horncastle 

By taking a collective responsibility, we can all do our bit to help our environment flourish. If you're in a position to pick up that crisp packet and get it to a bin, you should, even if you didn't drop it yourself.

Whether you choose to go out with the sole purpose of picking up litter or you simply pick up a couple of pieces that you spot along your way it doesn't matter, every little helps. We appreciate it's not always possible to pick up every piece we see, but if we each be mindful to do what we can when we can it'll go a long way.

You don't need much to start litterpicking. For small picks just a bin bag and some quality gardening gloves will suffice and you can take it home and put it in your own bin. For bigger picks you may want to invest in a litterpicking grabber too (some of our stores are happy to lend pickers when they aren't in use) and you'll have to consider what you are going to do with your bags if there are too many for your own bin. Most councils have departments that will help you with where to deposit a big litter haul if you contact them beforehand, and they may even provide you with the kit you need.

If being the organiser is a little too overwhelming a number of Ellis Brigham stores run local litter picks from time to time and there are many local groups on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram that are calling out for like-minded people to come down and help them. Equally there are a number of larger organisations you can get involved with including: Surfers Against Sewage, Planet Patrol, The 2 Minute Foundation and City To Sea.

About the Author:

Charlotte Fish - Outdoor Expert

Charlotte discovered her passion for the outdoors in her early teens and has never looked back since. Her pursuit of outdoor activities has taken her all over the world but she truly believes there is no place like home.

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