Earlier this week, we had to drive to Shrewsbury, Shropshire, because the MOT for our car was due. Because of all the lockdowns, we’ve not done a lot driving in the past 12 months, but we were mortified by the disgraceful amounts of plastic pollution and litter we saw on this trip.
For mile after mile, the roadside litter and rubbish simply did not stop. If you watch the video, which was captured by our dash cam, all the ‘stuff’ you see on the verges, banks and hedgerows are not flowers – that is all plastic, litter and filth. We’ve condensed this video to a few minutes, but if we ran the full footage, we’d have over 30 minutes of driving, consistently showing the same amounts of litter you see in this short clip.
This level of litter is not befitting of a first world country that has ramped up its fight against plastic pollution, and one has to seriously question what town councils are being paid to do and why they are not protecting the countryside.
During the summer, the lush British vegetation engulfs and hides this rubbish, but when everything dies back over the winter, the true horror is revealed. What makes it even worse, is that a lot of the large plastic rubbish we saw was now breaking up, and will be forming micro plastic pieces that will be detrimental to wildlife.
It’s devastating to think how this will harm badgers, voles, shrews, foxes, hedgehogs, rabbits and birds that have no choice but to wade through this litter, inevitably ingesting micro plastics.
It’s also equally shocking that the River Severn runs close to the roads that we drove on, and those plastics are inevitably ending up in major water courses and making their way across the country into the world’s seas and oceans.
But it didn’t stop on the bypass and access roads into town. We dropped the car off at the dealership, and walked across the road to Tesco, and the amount of rubbish that littered the roads and grass verges in Shrewsbury itself was equally appalling. Why is no one cleaning this up and how is it that we’re in 2021, with all the litter education campaigns, and people still deem it OK to litter?
With council taxes on the rise every year, we should all be demanding that this litter is cleaned up, and that strict fines are imposed on those that litter, because this is a problem that is well and truly out of control.
Please let us know if the litter where you reside in the UK is also a problem by leaving a comment below.