26.01.2018 0

Revealed: The Real Price of Litter

Many of us know the environmental issues of air travel, over-consumption and fast fashion. But what about the very real damage that litter can do? Money Guru, a financial advice website, has looked at the tangible cost litter has on individuals and the environment.

With 46,000 pieces of plastic for every square metre of ocean, and 38.5 million plastic bottles used in the UK every year, this is an ever-growing problem. Furthermore, the RSPCA receives over 7,000 calls a year about animals who have been injured by litter. Not only that, but littering attracts rodents who pass on disease, meaning that it’s not only animals who are being increasingly hurt by discarded rubbish.

As well as the physical cost, the UK spends £1bn each year cleaning up litter, this money comes from taxes which could otherwise fund 33,000 nurses and over 4,000 libraries. In recent years there has been a huge strain on the NHS and public spending, if litter was reduced then there would be more money available for the government to spend in these areas.

Luckily, there are deterrents in place to prevent littering, such as fines for littering and fly tipping. And we know that this is a relatively recent problem, littering has increased by 500% since the 1960s, meaning it is in direct correlation with our increasingly consumerist society.

As society has grown used to throwing away, rather than making do and mending, our tendency to throw rubbish onto the street and out of car windows. Therefore, despite the deterrents in place, there is still a very real need to reduce littering to improve the environment.

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