I’m do­ing my bit to tackle rub­bish, are you?

Daily Mail - - News - HELEN JO­HANS­SON, Sh­effield.

I’ve been greatly en­cour­aged by the cam­paign against lit­ter and fly-tipping, which is high­light­ing this catas­tro­phe in our coun­try (Mail). Why do peo­ple treat this beau­ti­ful place as a rub­bish bin? ev­ery day, I walk with my bag and old gloves and clean up the area where I live. It makes a real dif­fer­ence, and I hope the cam­paign can do the same na­tion­ally. Last year, I vis­ited Swe­den, where you take your bot­tles and cans to a ma­chine that ex­changes your lit­ter for cash. It’s so sim­ple and sen­si­ble: why on earth are our Gov­ern­ment and drinks com­pa­nies so slow to im­ple­ment such an ob­vi­ously ex­cel­lent scheme? Mean­while, re­stricted hours at re­cy­cling cen­tres and lim­its on who can use them sim­ply dis­cour­age re­spon­si­ble peo­ple and en­cour­age fly-tipping. It must make more sense to pay some­one to man th­ese cen­tres than to pay peo­ple to clear up fly-tipped rub­bish. I’ve writ­ten to the bbC sug­gest­ing a Clean Up bri­tain or Green Rose Day, with pro­gram­ming ideas for shows on this theme, in­clud­ing a re­make of The Wombles to high­light the prob­lems that lit­ter causes. As a so­ci­ety, we need to be­come more re­spon­si­ble when dis­pos­ing of waste, and a car­rot-and­stick ap­proach is es­sen­tial. We should get re­wards for proper dis­posal of waste and se­vere pun­ish­ments for ir­re­spon­si­ble be­hav­iour. Con­tain­ers given out at drive-through take­aways should have the car reg­is­tra­tion num­ber writ­ten on them so they can be traced if they’re dis­posed of im­prop­erly. Fast-food restau­rants should have lit­ter taxes put on take­aways to fund war­dens to clear up streets and road­sides. Residents could be en­cour­aged to use the Amer­i­can Adopt a Road scheme, where they take re­spon­si­bil­ity for tidy­ing their street and could per­haps be re­warded with a slight re­duc­tion in coun­cil tax. We need imag­i­na­tion and de­ter­mi­na­tion to raise aware­ness of this blight.

De­ter­mined: Helen Jo­hans­son picks up lit­ter ev­ery day

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