Belfast Telegraph

Why don't people give a toss about where they throw their litter?

Beauty spoiled: Portstewart Strand became a dumping ground
Beauty spoiled: Portstewart Strand became a dumping ground

By Lindy McDowell

What is wrong with people?

Why would you change your baby's nappy at the seaside and then just dump the soiled one in the sand beside you?

Especially when there is a rubbish bin just a few feet away from you...

At the weekend, National Trust staff filled the equivalent of 16 pick-up trucks with rubbish from Portstewart Strand alone.

It's a wonder anybody was able to find a spot to sit on the beach in the first place. Bottles, cans, picnic leftovers, fast food wrappings, the aforementioned nappies...

It sounds like a day out at the Duncrue dump.

A spokesman for Tidy Northern Ireland says that a national campaign is required here to re-establish civic pride.

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But how exactly do you appeal to the finer instincts of someone who thinks it's okay to dump wee Johnny's bowel movement beside the beach towels? That's not just lack of civic pride.

That's lack of self-respect. Or any respect for other people whatsoever.

In some instances you begin to think that littering and dumping stuff is in our DNA. It's second-nature. Taught at the mother's knee.

The other day I watched a wee granny at an ATM collect her money from the machine while her grandson craned to see what was going on.

Like all children he wanted to have a go himself.

"Can I do that?" he pleaded.

"Here," she said pressing the button for a receipt, "you lift that when it comes out."

He did.

"I've got it! I've got it!" he cried, "What will I do with it now?"

"Throw it on the ground", she instructed.

And he did. As they both walked off smiling.

What is wrong with people?

Belfast Telegraph


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