The litter louts that infest the British Isles are ruining our country. Their selfishness, originating from minds that must register a negative score on the IQ scale, has resulted in the scourge of litter that has literally worked its way into every nook and cranny of our towns and countryside.
Litter is everywhere. A beer can lodged under a fallen branch, slowly accumulating a covering of moss. A plastic bag half buried in the bank of a river. A discarded cigarette packet wedged in a drain grate. A bag of dog poo hanging from the branch of a tree. An old sofa chucked down a bank at the side of the road. A crisp packet or can stuffed into a hedge. A ball of tin foil partially obscured by the fallen leaves of a tree. Cans, bottles, cigarette butts, plastic packaging and papers everywhere. And one of the worst offenders: a discarded brown bag from a takeaway store, spilling its contents of plastic, foil and paper cups over an area of grass that would otherwise look mostly litter free.
This is Britain. Our country. Our shame. And it must be stopped. There can be no excuses. No complaints over a lack of rubbish bins. No complaints that the bins are full. No excuses like "it's the council's job to pick it up". No, the solution is simple: always put your litter in a bin or take it home. It's not rocket science.
But for the mentally challenged, drug-addled and selfish that live among us, any excuse will do. They care not that they are ruining the country for the rest of us and dragging it down to third world status. In fact, I do not think that they care about anything. To them, it doesn't matter if our country is trashed. I dread to think what it's like inside their houses. They are probably like a tip, with drink cans and crisp packets strewn everywhere, stained carpets in every room and piles of magazines, DVDs and ash filled cigarette trays scattered about. Their gardens are probably unkempt and sporting litter too.
When I started litter picking back in the Spring of 2017, the areas I first cleared were literally carpeted in trash. For example, the on- and off-ramps of the A3 highway near my home in Surrey - a county, by the way, that must surely be one of the filthiest in Britain, despite its relative wealth compared to the rest of the country.
For several years I would drive up onto this major road to travel to work and the sight was terrible. The whole area was literally covered with rubbish: plastic bags stuck in the brambles, discarded cans of paint, countless bottles and cans, the odd pair of boots, crisp packets, cigarette packets, paper cups and wooden forks from takeaway meals, pieces of paper and foil, plastic pipes, broken umbrellas, bags of dog poo and, as appears to be the case everywhere, reams and reams of half buried plastic. It took me three days' worth of my spare time to clear it all, resulting in about 11 rubbish sacks full of litter. The off-ramp yielded a similar amount: 8 sacks in under a fraction of a mile. I would guess the local council had probably not touched the area for a few years at least.
However, despite this effort, after only a month a couple of sacks' worth of litter had accumulated again.
Given the number of miles of highway in Britain, the amount of litter picking required to return them to a pristine state is enormous. Then there are all the minor roads and the country lanes, of which there are a virtually countless number.
Britain is drowning in litter. It is costing upwards of £1bn a year just to clear a fraction of it. This action is not nearly enough to rid the country of its litter. Dozens of local litter picking groups have sprung up over the last decade in order to try and keep the amount of litter down, at least in our towns and on our beaches. However all these efforts are like attempting to empty an outside water butt with a thimble when the rain is still falling. No matter how much litter is cleared, the thoughtless morons among us keep dropping it, tossing it out of their vehicles or dumping it in what they hope will be an area nobody will discover.
The result is a country that is very unattractive to visitors, harmful to wildlife and psychologically depressing to live in. Who wants to live in a dump? Who wants to continually suffer from the actions of the selfish and irresponsible who live among us?
Well I don't, and having spent over 1600 hours of my spare time in the last 5 years picking up litter (and in the process, filling about 1200 rubbish sacks), I'm not planning on doing so either. I also have zero confidence that the government will do anything. If our politicians really wanted we would have regular litter shaming broadcasts on TV and anti-litter ads in social media. There would be more drilling of the "littering is bad" message into the heads of our schoolchildren. Litter picking would form part of community service. There would be the frequent daytime closure of highway lanes for litter picking, which would very quickly make the point to irresponsible drivers (just imagine the sight of dozens of highway workers clearing mile upon mile of litter. Volunteers could be recruited too). As for the resulting traffic jams - so what? We need this action, even if only for limited periods. A massive national litter-clearing campaign would be launched, where everyone would be encouraged to pick up litter wherever they go. The focus would be both intense and utterly relentless.
However I doubt that any of this will happen. Instead, the country will continue to sink under a mountain of litter and hopefully before too long I'll be enjoying the sunny weather in a place far away, in a place that is a lot cleaner, where people respect their country and where I can enjoy life away from the selfishness of filthy Britain.