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We all pay for littering

By Shropshire Star | Readers' letters | Published:

There is no doubt that littering in this country is on the increase.

Roadsides, country lanes, and town streets are blighted by a continual flood of plastic, paper and tin cans, much of which is easily recyclable, and all of which is easily disposed of properly.

Highlighting the problems that it causes, endangering wildlife and encouraging and increasing the numbers of vermin in neighbourhoods seems to fall on deaf ears.

It’s often considered a trivial issue and the excuse usually used for this behaviour is that it provides employment for the council workers paid to collect it, so let’s look at that.

The cost of collecting litter and keeping Britain’s streets clean is about £1 billion a year, that is paid for out of your council tax, so what could that money be spent on instead? How about 147,000 state pensions; or 2.3 million people’s disability allowance; or 26,000 nurses for one year; or 12,000 doctors for one year; or 85,000 troops; or 22,000 secondary school teachers; or 27,000 primary school teachers; or 16,600 new social homes?

Not quite so trivial after all then.

So next time you see someone throwing litter from their car or on your street or park, remember that they are costing you your local library or your local swimming pool or housing for your family. Let’s stop tolerating it!

Sarah Wells, Craven Arms

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