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Facts About Litter
Q&A

What is Litter?

Litter is garbage thrown on the ground or where it doesn’t belong. About half of the litter we see is done on purpose! Litter is dangerous to animals and humans. It also makes places look bad and takes away from the beauty of our natural environment.

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What items are littered the most?

Cigarette butts are the most littered item. Other items that make up most of the litter are plastic bags, plastic cups and lids, plastic utensils, plastic bottles, plastic caps, straws, takeout food containers, and candy wrappers.

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Is it okay to litter when it is a small amount and you only do it once in a while?

NO!  Some people think it is okay to litter if it is only a small amount, but small amounts of litter add up to large amounts quickly. Some people also think it is someone else’s job to clean up litter, so they feel that it’s not really a big deal. If nobody littered, the problem wouldn’t be so BIG!

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Where does litter go when it falls into storm drains?

Most of the litter that falls into storm drains ends up in our waterways. The litter empties into streams, rivers, and oceans. Our ocean animals are suffering and dying because of the litter in our oceans.

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Can litter cause a car accident?

YES!  It sounds strange, but litter on our roadways can cause an accident.  Some litter can blow onto a car, or a driver may swerve to avoid litter.  Litter also attracts animals that may walk onto the road as people are driving.

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Does litter harm animals?

YES!  Millions of animals are harmed by litter each year. Animals get trapped or tangled in it, they choke on it, or even suffocate when they eat it.

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Is litter polluting our environment and harming our Earth?

YES!  Litter causes many problems for our environment. Hazardous or dangerous chemicals leak out of the litter and pollute our air, soil, and water. 

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Is littering against the law?

YES! Littering is against the law. There are fines people have to pay if they are caught littering. Some people could even go to jail for it.

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Our earth deserves less trash. Let's help clean her up.