Plastic litter almost always ends up in our waterways, sewers, and eventually our oceans. It affects and harms all creatures including human beings. The smaller pieces of plastic are easily mistaken for food by all sorts of wildlife in the waters. Larger pieces and six pack rings attract even land animals who often become permanently entangled. We need to put an end to littering and make it a national goal to end litter across the country.
Perhaps we need to bring back the public service announcements that were so prominent in the 1970s. As a former school teacher in Chicago, I can tell you that teaching kids not to litter is not part of the school program anymore. The key word these days is “recycle,” but what about “please don’t litter?” Little effort beyond an individual teacher’s passion is made to teach children to not litter. Littering is the equivalent of disrespect, certainly we want to teach children to respect their neighborhoods, their communities, and the planet. When you start by teaching kids not to litter and the harm caused by littering, they will actually care. When people don’t know how harmful something is, we can’t expect them to care.
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Coming Soon, local efforts to combat littering and getting kids involved. Stay tuned to the Wecology Lab for details.