My father used to have a cartoon poster on the window at Holme Bird Observatory, which read "For Pete's Sake Don't Drop Litter" Pete was a man with a peaked cap, dressed in green and placing litter in a bin. I remember being amused by this as a child, as I saw 'Pete' as my father Peter! I'm pretty sure no one out there from the 'old days' remembers this little poster on the window – well maybe Malcolm and Eileen W. do! There was far less litter in those days! Perhaps we need to bring back the "For Pete's Sake Don't Drop Litter" posters! Sadly though, I don't think it would make any difference whatsoever.
MY TOP TEN LITTER RANTS (in no particular order)
Dog's mess either not cleared up, or the poop bags slung in undergrowth or hung ornately on bushes, expecting someone else to clear it up! Well, they don't get cleared up – they fester here for months on end, until the plastic disintegrates into tiny fragments and releases toxic chemicals, which then break down into the soil and is ingested by wildlife who often choke and die! I have also noticed in recent years a new trend of dogs being allowed to soil beaches – this never occurred when I was a youngster! Its an awful thought that you can't simply sit down on the shingle or sandy beach, without checking for dog crap first!
Discarded cigarette butts – I genuinely don't think some smokers view these as 'litter', but they very much are and what a disgusting sight! I especially get annoyed when they are thrown from a car window, as these are at risk of setting dry grassland alight – this does happen! I also find it incredibly annoying and rude to have a burning cigarette butt thrown from a moving vehicle to land on your car bonnet, as it did to me recently!
Rubbish piled up next to a minuscule public litter bin – and yes, the public bins are too small for the ever increasing tourists to Norfolk, but do you really need to leave it behind?! NO, you don't! TAKE IT HOME and place in your OWN bins – not difficult, is it!
Nappies left alongside over-filled litter bins – absolutely disgusting – TAKE HOME!
Barbecue remains left on beach and picnic areas – beer cans, wine bottles, cardboard packaging from burgers, glass bottles which are often broken etc.
Human excrement and toilet paper! If you have to go, at least cover it up!
Deflated balloons and fragments of – dangerous to wildlife and environment. DON'T RELEASE BALLOONS into the sky! They may look pretty at the time, but only for minutes, once out of sight they will destroy life! Instead of releasing balloons in memory of a loved one or for a cause, plant a tree instead: create life, don't kill it. Ditto with Sky Lanterns.
Fly-tipping – anything goes, anywhere, any time!
Chewing gum stuck on seats and under tables!
Fishing tackle: lines, hooks left to strangle and be swallowed by birds, often resulting in death.
READ THIS IMPORTANT ADVICE FROM THE RSPCA
"FOR PETE'S SAKE – DON'T DROP LITTER"