Litter? What is it? It’s waste products disposed without consent in an erroneous environment. It’s morally wrong to litter and deep down you all know it. Litter is a huge environmental issue with a negative impact and you contribute to the negative effects if you litter. My purpose today is to persuade you not to litter because in the long run it effects our quality of life.
(point 1, facts)
9 billion tonnes of rubbish is dumped into the ocean every year. As of 2010 it’s believed that 5.25 trillion pieces of rubbish is in our ocean. Researchers have come to a conclusion that in 2050 there will be more rubbish in the ocean than there are fish. Plastic kills over 1,000,000 sea life every year. Litter such as Condensed glass, styrofoam and plastic take over a million years to degrade. Every year 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are littered and they are found in fish, birds and whales. For cigarette butts to break down it takes 5 to 400 years to completely degrade.
The most commonly littered products which are aluminium, glass, paper and plastic, can all be recycled. Some litter found can be recycled but litter that is in the process of degrading can’t be recycled and often turns into toxic sludge. The majority of litter that is collected goes to landfills. Litter costs to clean up. In America they spend $11 billion a year on cleaning up litter which is ten times more than the cost of rubbish disposal. Anywhere in the world if you have a job and you’re being taxed, some off that money will be going towards cleaning up litter of the streets. Wouldn’t it be better to clean up after ourselves and save tax dollars. 18% of litter ends up in local streams, rivers, and waterways. Litter in community has been proven to decrease property values by 7%
United states, united Kingdom, Australia and the Netherlands all have fines for littering depending on situation, with some fines exceeding NZ$4000. Other consequences include Community service and possible imprisonment in some cases as it a law to not litter. Did you hear me? By law you aren’t allowed to litter. This has been a law since the 1979 Litter Act in New Zealand.
(point 2, how it harms animals and people)
Hazardous substances found in tires, dangerous goods, and other materials can contaminate water sources, soil and pollute the air. Insects and rodents have been found nesting in rubbish debris, this can transmit diseases such as hantavirus, west nile virus and malaria to humans. In Bali, the locals of Pejeng walk unprotected in 40 degree heat collecting recyclables. Their children play in waste and run around glass. This is happening all around the world. People are suffering through this.
Animals think litter is food which kills them over time. Animals get trapped, tangled and end up in discomfort. In some cases plastic gets wrapped around animals necks which suffocates them as they grow. Dogs, cats and other small animals step on glass which causes deep cuts on their paws causing pain.Litter makes some animals endangered in their habitats, many of you have pets, weather you own them or not don’t you want them all to have an equal life quality? Littering is jeopardizing this! A Shear-water bird has been found to have 276 pieces of plastic inside it’s stomach. That is the equivalent of shoving 12 big pizzas into your stomach.
Can you imagine eating. Now imagine eating except whatever you eat doesn’t digest. Imagine that you continuing to eat until your stomach is solid. Can you imagine the pain you would go through?the pain you would have while moving? Animals suffer through this.
(point 3, taking responsibility)
New Zealanders have stood up for their environment before and they can do it again. For example after New Zealanders were aware of nuclear power being dangerous and how it was affecting people, New Zealanders got stickers and made their property nuclear free, it influenced others around them until by 1987 50 towns in New Zealand were nuclear free. People coming together made them strong. We are a nuclear free country now!
Take responsibility! Everyone enjoys a clean environment so why litter? Its simply unawareness to the environment around you. It may not be visibly clear to you of the effects of littering in Wanaka, because you aren’t exposed to that level of pollution. Look outside! What do you see? Mountains, trees, birds? They surround where we live and we are risking their life, for what? Our lack of respect for our surroundings?
What can you do to help? Simply don’t litter. Do your part the best you can to keep this planet clean. If you see someone about to litter, enlighten them on how it effects the environment because they could be clueless. Tell them how you feel.
Because it doesn’t effect you personally you might not care but that is where your mind set is wrong. You should care! You might be thinking it doesn’t effect me, it never has and it never will so why should I bothering caring? How am I going to make a difference? I’m one person. I’m telling you right now to get that shit out of your head!
It isn’t hard to hold a wrapper in your hand until you can put it in an appropriate place. At the end of the day it’s an individual choice. Weather your choice to litter being lazy, You don’t care, no respect, Ignorance, zero pride or a lack of consequences for your actions. I hope from today you decide to do the right thing. If you already do, great! What you do influences the people around you.
Anyone who laughs at you or makes fun of you for showing that you care about the environment is clearly lacking respect. My advice, go get some! I’ve see people in our year do it, I’ve been the person who’s been laughed at. Take is as a grain of salt, the other person obviously hasn’t been educated enough about litter.
Personally I buy environment friendly products as much as I can, I recycle by using bins provided. It’s not hard to be more aware and opt for environmental friendly options and doing the right thing by recycling. It does make a difference, besides making there less rubbish polluting the environment it makes you a better person for doing so.
In conclusion, don’t litter. We need to stand up for our planet and you can all do that by doing simple actions of kindness towards nature. Littering is effecting our planet, our wildlife and our people which is something we should want to change. From this speech, I hope you’ve gained enough knowledge to re-think your approach to littering.