I mentioned a little while ago that in my effort to be more active in trying to make a difference, I had decided to buy a litter picker-upper and take it and a bag with me whenever possible when I went out for a walk. I had read various articles about different initiatives to encourage people to try to pick up one piece of litter every day – if the whole adult population did that, just one piece each everyday, that would be nearly 40,000,00 items of rubbish plucked from highways and byways! I’d also read about ploggers – people who jog and litter pick, and plalkers, walkers who do the same.
I looked around in various shops but no litter pickers; someone recommended another store, and yes, I bought two for a pound each! I was ready! I had my weapons in the fight against litter! … and then absent-mindedness kicked in. I’d be on the beach and oh, I’ve forgotten my litter picker! I would be wandering along what’s known as the under-cliff and oh bother! Where’s the litter picker? At home! We would be going up the hill/along the main road/ walking to the pub, and each time I would have an empty hand.
However, today – triumph!! I remembered not only my weapon of litter collection, but I had a bag to put said litter in. So off we set. Down our road and along the road towards the beach I only found odd scraps – little pieces of paper which had blown out of the bins, or slipped from someone’s hand, or blown out of the car window, nothing major. I began to find cigarette ends, filter tips and rollies, and I was impressed about the delicate grasp of my implement! As we got nearer the boatyard more rubbish began to appear – not a lot, I don’t mean to suggest I was wading through it, but there were tissues, a few packets, three cans of cider – two empty, one not, wrappers, plastic bits, stuff, and gradually my bag began to fill.
I only had one bag with me, and by the time I got home it was nearly full, but not quite. I accidentally picked up a disposable nappy – I say accidentally because it had been run over several times and I only recognised what it was as it went into the bag. There was one plastic bottle, half a disposable lighter, one plastic drinks cup – the sort you get from coffee-shops, bottle tops, and loads and loads of cigarette ends – I didn’t think there were so many smokers any more!
Our little walk was only a small circuit, a sort of figure of eight from our house to the under-cliff, across the water meadows, back through the boatyard and back home past the pub (yes we walked past!) I had one bag of litter which wasn’t really full. Next time I remember picker I will bring a couple of bags – one for absolute rubbish, and the other for tings like cans and bottles which can be recycled. I’m not quite dedicated enough to go through all I collect and sort it!