Please stop littering

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I am a resident of L’Île-du-Grand-Calumet and have always been passionate about keeping our environment clean. I have been picking up litter for years and have noticed that the problem is getting worse. We need to inform people of the destruction they are causing when throwing out a can, plastic bottle, cigarette butt, etc. Maybe if they were aware of the serious damage, it does, they would think twice.

Apart from harming soil and wildlife, litter is a real eyesore for tourists visiting our Island when it’s the first thing they see after crossing the bridge. Not a very welcoming sight or first impression of our beautiful Island. Not to mention those locals who don’t litter and don’t want to live surrounded by other people’s garbage.

Laziness and carelessness are the two main reasons people litter. They don’t realize the potential consequences of throwing their cigarette butts on the ground. Cigarette butts take ten years to decompose. They also contain arsenic, which contaminates the soil and water. Plastic litter is often mistaken for food by wildlife. Animals such as birds and turtles have been found dead with plastic and cigarettes in their bodies. Also, it can take anywhere from 20 to 500 years for plastic to decompose. Even then, it never fully disappears. It just keeps getting smaller and smaller. Littering is everyone’s problem. I will never stop picking up litter, especially along the roadside where I live.

I have contacted the MRC, the Ministry of Environment, the municipal council and Transport QC to see if there is anything they can do to help with the battle. Maybe they could purchase no littering signs, public garbage cans and outdoor cigarette butt disposals. I know the public garbage can works to some degree as I had bought one and put it under the welcome sign at the bridge. The only problem was that some people were using it for their household trash, which I then had to pay to dispose of properly. It would be much better and more efficient for the municipality to pick up a garbage bag every week rather than pick up trash piece by piece on the side of the road.

I’ve wondered why it is so hard for some people to stop littering. I googled this question and the answers I found were that some people may not have been educated on the impact of littering and therefore litter because they don’t know it’s harmful, while others may live in an area where littering is an accepted part of the culture. This type of littering behavior is often the hardest to combat.

I just want more people to become aware of the damage they are doing to the environment and to please stop. Take that can, cigarette butt or plastic soft drink bottle home with you to dispose of properly.

Thank you for your consideration.

Rosemarie Farrell,
L’Île-du-Grand-Calumet