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FACTS

About Litter

  • According to www.kab.org over 51 billion pieces of litter wind up on America's roads
  • ​38-50% of litter are cigarette butts
  • 55% of littering is done on purpose
  • Most common objects are: straws, plastic bottles, plastic bags, plastic utensils, fast food wrappers, candy wrappers, beverage cans, polystyrene cups and containers, and paper bags
  • 80% of marine litter comes from land
  • According to plasticoceans.org more than 8 million tons of plastics ends up in our the oceans each year
  • By 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans
  • Single-use plastics are filling up our oceans, harming sea life, and contaminating the food chain
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*As a result of Covid-19 we now see PPE items scattered all over the ground. Masks and plastic gloves are being thrown all over.  This poses a threat to our environment as well as our health and the health of animals.

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Litterology

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  Most Common 

  Places We Find         Litter

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Roadsides

About half of the litter on roadsides is caused by people. The items mostly found are cigarette butts, paper, and plastic.  Besides people, improperly covered trucks and containers contribute to roadside litter.

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Beaches

Beach litter comes from many different sources and enters the ocean in many ways. Every day 8 million plastic pieces find their way to the ocean. When someone litters on the street or in a parking lot, rainwater can move the trash into storm drains. These drains empty into streams, rivers, and other bodies of water that lead to our beaches and oceans.

Over 1 million marine animals (including mammals, fish, sharks, turtles, and birds) are killed each year due to plastic debris in the ocean. Currently, it is estimated that there are 100 million tons of plastic in oceans around the world.

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Parks and Playgrounds

Litter is often found in parks and on playgrounds.  Litter is ugly and harmful. If a park has litter on the ground, other people are more likely to litter there too. People should always put their litter in a garbage can or take it with them.

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Parking Lots

Parking lots are high traffic areas.  They end up accumulating litter on a daily basis.  Common items found in parking lots are packaging, bags, food and snack wrappers, cigarette butts, and plastic bottles. 

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Commercial Areas

Commercial areas such as malls, shopping centers, and convenient stores accumulate litter regularly. 

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Storm Drains

Litter often gets swept away with rain water into storm drains. The drains empty into streams, rivers, and other bodies of water. It then ends up emptying into our oceans and washing up on our beaches.  Harmful chemicals are also washed down drains and can have very harmful effects.

  The cause of litter is not as simple as people throwing their trash into a trash can or not. It is so much more than that. In the book,

 "LITTEROLOGY-Understanding Littering and the Secrets to Clean Public Places" by Karen Spehr and Rob Currow 

we learn there are MANY factors as to why litter ends up in certain places and there are many steps that can be taken to create change.

There are negative AND positive behaviors that people and communities engage in when it comes to disposing litter. These behaviors are some of major contributors as to whether an area is and can remain litter-free.