What Does Littering Do To The Environment?

What Does Littering Do To The Environment?

By Lewis Knox

What is littering?

The definition of littering is to make a place or area untidy with rubbish or a large number of objects left lying about”. This can vary in scale, ranging from a small sweet wrapper to fly tipping whole pieces of furniture on the street.


What is the issue?

To start with, it makes the area look messy and unwelcoming, but this problem goes much further than just aesthetics (the way something looks). It can also cause great harm to the area’s surrounding animals – from birds getting their heads stuck in bottles, to foxes getting cut by broken glass and many more dangerous situations.


Wider impact

These actions can have a massive effect globally. For example, masses of litter ends up in storm drains and is then carried to the ocean where it can cause lots of issues for the surrounding plants and fish – tangling and entrapping the local creatures – damaging their ecosystem (a group of living things that work together to help their home environment, eg the ocean).

This also has a further reaching impact through air pollution as toxic chemicals are incorrectly disposed of, which contributes to general emissions but also can be especially damaging to small nearby animals who have smaller lungs and are more likely to be badly affected by these gases.


What can you do in your local area?

To assist in reducing the impact of litter in the streets, many community groups have set up litter picks for their local area. This can be focused on a smaller scale for younger pupils who can work on ensuring no litter is in their playground/school area helping to make sure your school is clean and not contributing to this issue.



As a simple solution that can help assist in the battle against littering and reducing waste, you could attempt to increase the amount you recycle to be repurposed, reducing your personal waste and ensuring it will be dealt with in the correct way, reducing rubbish.

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