In this day and age of austerity where we find ourselves on the receiving end of horrendous cuts in services (many yet to come) we find that there is a problem with an excess of litter. Well I suppose there has always been litter, which is exactly why our exorbitant Council Tax goes toward paying street cleaners to poddle about all day with a big yellow horizontal bucket and a brush!

Apparently, a survey by Keep Britain Tidy found sweet wrappersdrinksfast food and smoking-related rubbish had all increased in the last 12 months. Well at least they didn’t emphasise the fag ends by naming them first!

Personally, I don’t see why smokers don’t have the goodness and intelligence to simply put their fag ends in a bin or carry a nice little pocket ashtray around with them, after all, smokers are blamed now for everything from climate change to grannie’s bunions so to keep the streets free of fag ends would be a right ‘shot up the ‘arris’ for the establishment! By that I mean it would be something “they” couldn’t blame smokers for.

Our eagle eyed Jenny has provided a link for this little story and if you look at Trafalgar Square you will see a plethora of rather large white articles-has someone dumped their entire wardrobe of white T-shirts in the square in some sort of protest? Looks like there could be the odd body laid out on the steps as well!

If you scour the picture you won’t see one single cigarette butt laying on the floor. Yes, I know they are small and unobtrusive but they do seem to cause big problems for these environmental people. It seems that 8 out of 10 places surveyed were “blighted with cigarette butts – an increase of 5 per cent”, which is not surprising because smokers have been turfed out of pubs & clubs in 10 out of 10 places! I know that doesn’t excuse the fag butt mess, but you get my drift. When I was allowed in a pub I was gracious enough to use the great big ashtrays provided, I didn’t feel the need to rush to the door and see just how far I could flick it up the street!

Further down the article is a delightful picture of seven (7) fag ends, although three look as if they have been discarded in great haste-what a waste! Perhaps if councils provided more ‘stubbing bins’ there might not have been seven just laying there awaiting the street cleaner. Strive as I might, even with my humble eyesight, I cannot see a ‘stubbing bin’ in that picture of Trafalgar Square for smokers to carefully place their fag ends-can you?

This situation has rattled a few cages by the looks of it and today’s National Litter Convention calls on the public to ‘Love Where You Live‘ and tackle the growing litter problem.

Now I ask you, who on God’s earth would ever think that such a thing would be held? A litter convention? Who the hell needs a convention to discuss litter on our streets-there shouldn’t be any if the street cleaners are doing their job properly! Mind you having said that I cast my mind back to Brighton in September for as the good lady and I sat people watching over a fag & coffee a street cleaner ambled by  armed with one of those long handled  ‘grabbers’; all he was picking up was fag butts, nothing else, just fag butts. Paper bags, sweet wrappers, burger cartons, drinks cartons and even a crushed fag packet evaded his ever watchful eye as he ‘grabbed’ butt after butt. Incredible really! Still, Brighton do have a Green MP!

It also crosses my mind while are being so ‘austere’, just how much did this litter convention cost the tax payer?

It remains to be seen if our ‘age of austerity’ includes the dispensing of street cleaners or not but judging from the articles pictures there are going to be major health & safety problems if they are!

Funny how the Dutch don’t seem to have this fag butt problem – oh silly me, of course, their politicians have used their brains and allowed 2,000 bars to invite smokers in again!

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