Take the Rubbish Home! Sue Moll
With the third UK Covid lockdown easing, throughout March and April 2021 we have seen
hundreds of people gathering in parks and green spaces, desperate to get their long-missed fix of the great outdoors. Enjoying the sun on their backs, the breeze on their faces, and in good company, aided by outdoor food and drink.
Good times? Well, for some, maybe. After being hidden away in our homes, we’ve largely
come to appreciate our gardens, and the wildlife therein. People are saying that the whole
lockdown experience has made them seek out local green spaces and enjoy them more too.
Then why, I have to ask, has so much litter been left by the crowds now visiting our parks
and green areas? They wouldn’t leave such vast amounts of rubbish in their own gardens or
on their doorsteps. Though, maybe, I’m wrong to assume they wouldn’t? Whether or not
there are enough bins available for rubbish, is irrelevant. The discarded material was
originally taken to the park so it can easily be taken home again too. It is lighter, as most of
the contents have been eaten, so what’s the problem?
It has been said it is mainly young people who have gathered and have left the litter. These
are the same young people who are shouting that their futures are being impacted by the
ecological and climate crisis we face. I’m not going to make a blanket statement that it is the
young who are littering. What I will say is, maybe the Council shouldn’t be so efficient in
clearing up our mess; maybe leave it for a few days so when the litterers return (and they
will) to enjoy the green space again, they will see and experience the true scale and impact
that their littering has caused…especially as they won’t find anywhere to sit until the litter is
Most of us wouldn’t litter in our own back yard as it impacts our enjoyment, and many would
be worried about the dangers and impact on the wildlife nearby. Maybe we should all start
seeing our shared parks and green areas in the wider community as our backyard too?
Something we’re all custodians of. So, this year, instead of having positive impacts on your
own garden, let us try and have positive impacts on our wider community too.
“There is litter in the air, there is litter over there. There is litter on the tree, there is litter by the sea. There is litter on the sand, there is litter in my hand. There is litter by the house, there is litter by the mouse!
It’s smelly and it’s grimy too! I wouldn’t throw it, was it you? There is litter by the school, there is litter by the pool. There is litter in the car, there is litter by the bar. It’s smelly and it’s grimy too! I wouldn’t throw it, was it you?
There is litter by the pig, there is litter in my wig! There is litter by the duck, there is litter in the muck. There is litter by the ants, there is litter in my pants! There is litter in the farm, there is litter in my palm! It’s smelly and it’s grimy too! I wouldn’t throw it, was it you?
Put your litter in the bin, eventually everyone will win. I will feel happy when everywhere is clean, now I won’t have to be mean. I’m sorry for shouting at you, and telling you what to do. Just remember to split your rubbish up, from food to a plastic cup.”
– By Ava D, year 3, ( 7-8 year olds) Green Flag-awarded St John’s Junior School, Wirral