Four Consequences of Litter That Might Make Your Grimace

Bottled drinking water

Every year, the United States alone produces a staggering 11 billion tons of solid waste and seven billion tons of debris enter the oceans every year. That number is particularly disheartening considering the fact that the average office employee throws away some 360 pounds of recyclable paper every year. Though many businesses and homeowners alike are working on trying to take advantage of going green ideas and help preserve the environment, pollution remains a serious problem. In fact, there are many effects of littering alone that plague the planet.

Hazardous to Marine Life

In November, a sperm whale washed up on shore in the Netherlands with more than 37 pounds of plastic in its intestines. Scientists determine that the cause of death was an intestinal blockage. Unfortunately, that is not the first time that has happened. Years before, a sperm whale showed up dead on a North American beach and the cause of death was starvation that took place because a plastic gallon bottle clogged its intestines. The animal, tragically, was full of all kinds of plastic materials including 12 meters of nylon rope. Clearly, improper garbage disposal has a drastic impact on the health of sea life.

Impacts Drinking Water

Beyond the preservation of animals and the environment itself, going green at home and at work can be beneficial for health reasons. One of the effects of littering and not disposing of chemicals properly is that they can work their way into the systems that people use for drinking water. When that happens, there are a number of different illnesses and problems, including the possibility of cancer and birth defects.


One of the main reasons to stop littering is that, quite simply, doing so can be quite expensive. Not only can it have an impact on local tourism and, in turn, harm the economy, but it also costs a lot of money to clean up. Estimates have found that California spends a billion dollars every year working to pick up litter. If more people placed and emphasis on the importance of recycling, that money might be able to put to use in other, more beneficial, areas.

Litter Breeds Litter

Littering sets the tone that people don’t care for their community and, in turn, more people start to litter. So one of the more costly effects of littering, though often overlooked, is that it leads to more. So it can be almost impossible for a community full of people who litter to change their ways without a good example to follow.

The solutions to the world’s environmental and pollution problems are complex, and there isn’t necessarily one that will always work. However, most everyone would agree that stopping littering altogether would be a tremendous first step. Helpful links.

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