On our October 2018 Litter Pick, we were lucky enough to have Emma Mundy, an Environmental Manager, and her daughter join us for the task. Afterwards, she offered to let us have some more information about litter, and this is what she wrote:
Litter can have a detrimental effect on the environment, both land and seas by disrupting ecosystems. Many species can be negatively affected by litter whether it’s through consumption, becoming trapped or getting injured on items such as broken glass. There are many ways that litter such as plastics can be washed away into rivers, lakes and oceans where it breaks down over time and results in microplastics which become a threat to marine ecosystems and lead to water pollution. Not only does this kill fish and birds, but can end up being consumed by humans through the food chain – even sea salt has now been found to contain plastic. Items like cigarette butts and many plastics contain chemicals which can create long term environmental damage as they take hundreds of years to break down, leaching these chemicals into the environment. During the litter pick cigarette butts were certainly very prevalent across Abbey Fields, with many located near the waterways. We also found many lightweight unused black dog bags, lightweight plastic such as this can easily be blown into water courses or end up being ingested by local wildlife and farm animals. Decomposition of litter over time can also lead to greenhouse gases, contributing to climate change.
The thing with littering is that it should be easy to stop, there are many bins around Abbey Fields or rubbish can be taken home, it’s an easy change to implement if you want to help the environment.
Emma Mundy (Environmental Manager)
Emma and her family are passionate about the environment and she writes about environmental subjects elsewhere. Below are links to two of the articles that she has written.