No one would argue that litter is beneficial, and yet millions of people around the world continue their littering habits.

In addition to being harmful to wildlife, litter costs an awful lot of money. Local governments spend millions of dollars paying crews to pick up trash that could easily have been discarded properly to begin with. Sure, some people volunteer to clean up others’ messes, but for the most part, paid cleanup crews take care of the litter problem. It is estimated that America’s litter cleanup costs $11.5 billion a year. If everyone managed their own messes, we could have more money to spend on greening our cities or paying for social services.

Trash is a problem in other parts of the world, too. Nashik, India, is dealing with an influx of messy travelers during the holy month of Shravan. The travelers have trashed transit stations with bottles, glasses and plastic that the government will staff day and night until Shravan is over. Even on the way to worship, some folks cannot be bothered to care for the planet.

Most people litter out of habit, whether that is laziness or a belief that one more piece of trash doesn’t really matter. It has been shown people are more likely to litter in environments where litter already can be found, and roadways are common litter hubs. Many drivers do not want to have a trash bag in the car or pull over to find a garbage can whenever they finish eating a burger or drinking their coffee. Tobacco products are the most common article of trash found along roadways. How many times have you seen someone flick a cigarette butt out a car window? Even though cigarette butts are small, they can still harm wildlife and cost money to clean up.

Many people may not be swayed to stop littering because getting caught would only result in a small fine, and most people do not get caught in the act. On an open road, no one will know. In a busier area, however, it’s slightly more likely someone will call you out for littering — maybe with a simple gesture of throwing the trash right back in your face.

In all seriousness, throwing trash at litterers will probably not initiate a major change in their habits, and we do not condone this type of behavior. But calling someone out on their littering may get them to think twice before they toss another piece of junk out the window.

via Reddit

Main photo credit: Fisxx; video credit: 13mordeth