Research – Litter

Litter has always been a problem and has been destroying the environment for decades. Litter is a major problem especially for wildlife because animals may get trapped or poisoned with litter in their habitats. Cigarette butts and filters are a threat to wildlife and have been found in the stomachs of fish, birds and whales, who have mistaken them for food. Also animals can get trapped in the rubbish and be in serious discomfort. For example, the plastic used to hold beverage cans together can get wrapped around animals’ necks and cause them to suffocate as they grow. Other instances where animals could be harmed by litter include broken glass lacerating the paws of dogs, cats, and other small mammals. Organic litter in large amounts can cause water pollution and lead to algal blooms. Cigarettes could also start fires if they are not put out and then discarded in the environment.

Although litter is still a problem, people are still trying to find ways to reduce the litter that is on the planet for example:

Litter Bins:

Litter bins is literally the most common solution to reducing littering. Increasingly both general waste and recycling options are provided. However, there are issues with this approach for example if the bins are not regularly emptied, then overfilling of bins occurs and can increase litter indirectly. Some local authorities will only take responsibility for rubbish that is placed in the bins, which means that litter remains a problem.

Picking up:

These days, there are an increasingly amount of people who volunteer to help and clean up the environment by picking up litter on a regular basis. Although this is a timely process, it can be very useful. But picking up litter can be harmful to our health for example people could get spinal damage from repeated bending as well as the volunteers would be exposure to dangerous goods, sharps waste and pathogens. As a result, safety equipment such as gloves is sometimes worn and tools such as litter grabbers (extendable arms) are used.

Litter traps:

Litter traps can be used to capture litter as it exits drains into waterways. However, litter traps are only effective for large or floating items of litter and must be maintained.


Some countries and local authorities have introduced legislation to address the problem amd by doing so they have involved giving people fines who litter. Actions resulting in fines can include on-the-spot fines for individuals administered by authorised officers in public or on public transport or littering from a vehicle, in which the vehicle owner is fined – reported by either responsible officer or third party, sometimes online. The punishment for litter can vary between each individual country for example in the US if you litter it is punishable with a more than $500 fine, community service, or both, as set out by state statutes and city ordinances and in the UK, leaving litter is an offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. It carries a maximum penalty of £2500 upon conviction. If an alleged offender does not want to pay a fixed penalty notice, he can have the case heard in the Magistrates Court.


Throughout human history, people have disposed of unwanted materials onto streets, roadsides, in small local dumps or often in remote locations. Prior to reforms within cities in the mid-to-late 19th century, sanitation was not a government priority. The growing piles of waste led to the spread of disease. But i think with my edible wrapper idea, this wouldnt be a problem no more because if we swap the normal wrappers we use today with mu bio-degradeable edible wrappers, then you would see less harmful litter on the ground as they would either be degrading in the ground, eaten by animals (not harmful for them) or dissolved away by the rain.

Infographics on litter:

While searching around about litter, i came across some interesting infographics on litter. The reason i picked these 3 out is beacuse when i looked at them i felt like they have sent the image that they were tryin to get out and thats probably why i like them soo much.

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