How Litter Impacts the Environment

It’s easy to not pay that much attention to waste and litter but it’s actually an important issue to remain mindful of, as it can have some serious impacts on the environment and on the safety of the local community. Fortunately, managing waste and preventing litter is really easy and only requires minor behaviour adjustment. And the truth is, if you’re reading this, you’re probably someone who already cares about the environment and is careful not to litter. But why exactly is litter bad and how does it impact the environment?

Litter on our roads usually comes from drivers and passengers tossing their trash out the window or from debris blowing out of the back of trucks and utes with poorly secured loads. Litter consisting of food items attracts birds and other animals, causing yet another road hazard. Sometimes large items are not secured to a vehicle and fall off onto the road. This type of litter can cause dangerous driving conditions as drivers try to avoid hitting the trash. Litter also gets blown out onto main streets, clogging sewers and building up in drainage channels, eventually finding its way into our lakes and other waterways.

Plastic is one of the most harmful items that are littered and can take up to 450 years to break down. Plastic grocery bags take up to 1000 years to decompose. Chemicals and toxins from plastic materials can seep into water sources. Plastic bottles can fill with water and become the perfect breeding ground for mosquitos. The plastic rings from soda cans and 6-packs of drinks can entangle birds and other creatures leaving them helpless. Bottles tossed into a lake, river, or ocean can cause serious injuries to people and to animals.

Cigarette butts pile up everywhere and cause an unsightly mess. They may be small, but they can take up to 10 years to decompose. Most people spit out their gum when they are through chewing it, making a sticky mess. That piece of gum that turns into a hard dark spot on the footpath requires an expensive process to remove. Aluminum, chip bags, and tin take more than a lifetime to disintegrate. And if you live near a golf course, that ball you lost could take up to 1000 years to break down.

Not everyone litters intentionally. Rubbish bins are placed out on the curb for pickup which may get knocked over by the neighborhood dog or wind, scattering rubbish. Maybe birds have pecked away at overfilled bins. Either way, it’s likely the wind blew a lot of your trash beyond your retrieval.

BinSpring is the perfect solution to the age-old problem of keeping the lid secured on your rubbish bin. This nifty little gadget clips onto wheelie bins to securely close the lid. With BinSpring in place, the lid will snap shut when it is closed. Now if your wheelie bin is knocked over, the lid will not open and spill out your rubbish.