Littering may be a crime but litter patrols are often over-zealous with inappropriate fines.
What is needed is a sea change in attitude: if everyone – or even most people – picked up litter and disposed of it responsibly, we would have streets and countryside to be proud of, like many other nations.
All you need is a bag, commitment and perhaps gloves.
Closed circuit television and assiduous prosecution can significantly reduce fly-tipping.
However, the greater risk of ‘littering’ is global, from non-biodegradable plastic entering the oceans from ten of the world’s largest rivers. Until this is tackled effectively, our bequest to future generations runs the risk that the Anthropocene epoch will become the Plasticene era.
Plastic accounts for 70 percent of all litter in the ocean and by 2050 the world’s seas will contain more plastic by weight than fish.
The collection of oceanic flotsam may one day be possible by technology such as the Sea-Vax (produced by a Herstmonceux company), sea bins, sea booms and other devices, and the use of plastic-degrading organisms.
The worst offending areas could be pressurised to attack the plastic problem, but even better would be public conscientiousness and corporate consciences.
Solving it would be a well-deserved legacy of, and tribute to, Sir David Attenborough and his Blue Planet Two campaign.
Back Lane, Waldron