Cause and effects of littering?
A long time ago in a former job I once spent a week on a really good root cause analysis course. After the course I put some of the learning into practice and went on to lead some pretty significant RCAs, helping to solve and prevent problems that had reasonably large consequences.
How do you solve the litter problem? I did a blog on this a couple of years ago but thought I’d refresh the issue after spending yesterday cleaning up Bennachie for the Real3Peaks Challenge. Some of the problems are accidental, some are just lacking understanding but unfortunately some are just deliberate selfishness.
If you were to complete a full RCA on an issue like this the “caused by” chart would be huge and go deep into society.
Millions of pounds is spent each your on cleaning up litter, perhaps not enough on education? I do believe if we spent more money on the right messages the problem would reduce. We need to make the issue more personal to everyone, not to just people like myself that love and care for wild places. Can you imagine what the mess would be like if nobody cared? Time / money spent cleaning up is waste too. Time / money that could be put to better things.
The full report on Bennachie can be read below. The Real3Peaks Challenge Facebook page has reports from other areas too.
One thing you can do to help is just pick up something every day. Litter attracts litter. Leave no trace. Take only pictures, leave only footprints….
A beautiful calm day for our walk up Mither Tap and Oxen Craig (the higher hill..) today.
Huge thanks to all those who volunteered and to those who could make the original day but not today, hopefully see you next year.
In the end we had an excellent team of 10, myself, Sarah, Emma, Sam, Helen, Keira, Rory, Iain, Lachlan (Cairn Terrier) and Luna (woof). We split into two groups, one departing from the back o’ Bennachie carpark up to Oxen Craig and the other from Rowan Tree car park up Mither Tap, then back down to visitor centre car park.
A wide variety of items totalling 15.4km (possibly underestimated, dubious weighing method..) was picked up, including......Cans, plastic bottles, glass, foam, crisp bags, sweetie papers, 3x BBQs (2 at the top of Oxen Craig), golf tee, condom packet, 2 air fresheners...Orange peels, banana skins, apple cores, chewing gum, poo bags (some on trees), a mitten, wipes, cigarette ends, Costa Coffee cups, yogurt pots, plant pot, bottle of pee (possibly..), Macdonalds cup, pink highlighter, pot of bubbles and odd socks!
Bennachie is a beautiful hill in Aberdeenshire and is regularly cleaned and looked after by volunteers and rangers. Huge thanks to The Bennachie Visitor Centre, Aberdeenshire Council Ranger Service, Forestry Commission Scotland and Bailies of Bennachie for the excellent work they do. Thanks to Recycling and Waste Aberdeenshire for the loan of the litter sticks and support.