Taking Action Against Littering

It's always the same picture: carelessly dropped cigarette butts, beverage cans and so forth spoil parks, meadows and public places in Upper Austria. Even worse: Disposing litter via the car window is seemingly becoming a new "trend".

Against some spread misbeliefs, litter needs years or hundreds of years to degrade.

But that's not the only problem: Litter left in the forest or field emits hazardous or toxic substances which infiltrate into the soil or even into the ground water, which threatens plants, animals and of course humans. For men also the left litter itself can pose dangers - just think about broken glass in the playground!

And still that's not all. To get rid of all the waste, communal staff have to spend hundreds of working hours to manually collect every piece. The costs for this - unsurprisingly - are shared by the general public and in times of decreasing public budgets, this money finally lacks somewhere else...

What to Do About Littering?

1) Inform

Many people are not aware of the consequences of their behaviour and they regard littering as a minor offence. To change this situation, public relation measures and waste consulting have to be intensified. The "Umweltprofis" have already carried out many projects around this topic (e.g. "Ab in den Kübel" (Into the Bucket) in 2011)

2) Clean Up

Unfortunately, people tend to drop more litter where there already is some, than at tidy places. So a kind of magnet for waste can develop. Actions to clean up woods and meadows are carried out annually by the "Umweltprofis" under the slogan "Hui statt Pfui!" (clean instead of dirty). Those make sense in two ways: They help to raise awareness and paths, roadsides, places and meadows are tidy again and therefore less predestined for littering.


3) Punish

Littering often is a matter of convenience. Help us to make it inconvenient by not tolerating such behaviour. Start to confront mucky pups, if you catch them red-handed and they will surely think about it twice the next time...