Litter Bug (musings of S&S volunteer Russell Hope)

Pick up 3 Times

 “LITTER BUG, LITTER BUG”, you can just about still hear this playground chant from the 80’s. Not heard it before? Maybe it was a mancunian (dentonian) thing? If you dropped (either by accident or intentionally) a piece of litter you’d instantly be surrounded by this chant by your school buddies and they would persist until you picked it up and disposed of it correctly. Still clueless? Well maybe it was just our school or neighbourhood <shrugs>

Regardless of its status of fact or fiction in your childhood… it definitely WORKED and made you think twice about littering!!

It occurred to me recently that it was this comradery and collective responsibility which ‘Kept Britain Tidy’, that and some clever branding and TV advert campaigns. We certainly seemed to have less litter – or was there less packaging then?

What do you do now when you see someone litter? It may not be ‘safe’ to challenge the ‘litter bug’ so we often turn a blind eye. The ‘litter bug chant’ worked in the playground as a prevention of littering, but what has become of remediation?

How often do you walk past a piece of litter, tut to yourself and walk by to leave it for someone else to ‘sort out’. I’ve started to adopt my own remediation strategy to reduce the amount of litter in our streets and countryside and I call it PICK UP 3X.

Wherever I am going I aim to pick up 3 pieces of waste to either recycle at home or to send it home into a public dustbin/trashcan/waste bin.

I’m sure there’s an equation for the amount of waste which has lost it’s home and the percentage of the population picking up 3…. Which would perhaps result in waste free streets and countryside….


Scoop and Scales have a supply of litter pickers for anyone to borrow – if you want to have a go at reducing litter we’d be happy to lend you the gear! (And don’t forget, a lot of street litter can still be recycled or Terra-cycled!)