I’ve started carrying a plastic shopping bag in my backpack. The idea is, if I am in a particular area where there seems to be a lot of rubbish. I can use the bag to collect rubbish until it gets full. This also limits my collection to one carry size bag which can then be place in a bin, without getting overwhelmed with the amount of rubbish that there is floating around in the area.
After this collection my adrenaline was very high. I had a distressed feeling and a sense of deep questioning. I’ve never been a littering person, its not in my mind set, so I have difficulty coming to terms with why people do it. I’m particularly concerned with plastics making their way to the ocean, birds nesting and and eating plastic and potential fire risks on dry grass during hot weather.
This #seeitbinit session was on the nature strip at the BayFit Leisure Centre Paisley Park Altona North. There was a lot of marketed trash from McDonalds. They have a mission statement about keeping the streets clean…
Keeping the streets clean
Our Clean Streets program includes initiatives designed to keep the area around our restaurants tidy and clean. The key to this is the Litter Patrol program which is a structured and regular task for crew members who pick up litter from within the restaurant grounds and in neighbouring streets.
Within the Clean Streets program we also use packaging, restaurant traymats and car park signage to remind our customers not to litter.
A high proportion of the rubbish littered in Newport and Altona North origin comes from McDonalds. The main items identified are McCafe coffee cups, plastic lids from coffee and drink cups and straws. Plastic drink lids and straws have a significant impact to the immediate and long term environment. Drinks are highly transportable and culturally acceptable part of everyday life. There is an education opportunity between the consumption to the disposal.
As McDonalds Australia proudly states on it website, being environmentally responsible is a key part of their business. There is clearly a gap between the way customers are educated about rubbish and the reality. Once the litter leaves the McDonalds premises the companies environmental impact statement, positions them well to avoid any further responsibility to the litter then identified within the community.
There is clearly an opportunity for McDonalds local stores to partner with the community and councils to develop education and action based programs to combat the ongoing issue of litter in localised communities. More work can be done in this space to help better inform members within the local community about the spread of rubbish – specially from junk food and drink packaging. Potentially social ties can influence behaviours to advance the acceptability of littering in public spaces.