This country is rubbish

So I’m going to have a moan now about the state of the UK. And for once, no, I don’t mean politics, I don’t mean the recession, and I don’t mean the price of tuition fees. I am actually complaining about something every single one of us has an impact on, and can easily solve.

After returning home from university last week I visited my local town, and noticed a lot of things which demonstrated the lack of respect some people appear to have for our environment. The first thing which irritated me was the amount of rubbish I saw scattered around – and I don’t just mean anywhere, but around a bin. Littering near a bin is much worse than general littering in my opinion, because it’s not even as if there was nowhere for people to dispose of their rubbish. They were simply too lazy to put it in the bin, so probably just threw it in the general direction, missed, and couldn’t be bothered to pick it up. The bin wasn’t full either.

I was also annoyed by the type of rubbish which was laying around: totally non-biodegradable things, such as plastic bags, plastic rings for cans and Styrofoam cups. People seem to not only forget to consider that it makes the local environment look awful, but also provides a massive danger to birds in particular and urban animals such as foxes. Even when I put plastic rings in the bin now I make a habit of cutting them up or pulling them apart just in case, as the thought of a bird’s neck stuck in a ring makes me shudder.

However, surely there wouldn’t be as much rubbish if shops stopped providing so much excess packaging? Why does my burger need to be put in paper inside a box, and then inside another bag? Why am I given a huge plastic bag just to hold my one eyeliner pencil? If shops considered the environment more too then the problem would probably be cut down by at least half.

So next time you go to moan about the state of our country – politically, financially or in any other way – stop and think about something you can change, which is the state of our country physically. Don’t throw rubbish out of your car window, and if there’s nowhere to dispose of your burger box, keep it until you find somewhere. And when there’s a bin around, which our councils have provided and which in fact we pay for as part of our council tax: use it!

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