Litter picking is an increasing activity. When we are out on a pick, more and more frequently we get asked questions by passers-by such as “where do I get those collection bags from?” or “how do I get a litter picking stick?”. Also, we sometimes go out on a pick only to find an almost pristine park; other litter pickers have clearly got there before us! Sadly, that is mostly not the case though. So what are my favourite bugbears?
- Top of the list is the discarded two litre water or drink bottle. Still full of liquid (sic!) and hence really heavy to carry around unless it is first emptied. Which means twisting the cap off, not always easy when wearing gloves. I mean, what sort of thought process involves the purchase of a (£2+) bottle, carrying it to the park and then simply discarding it un-drunk?
- Also close to the top are those glass bottles, mostly it has to be said unbroken but sometimes shattered into lots of shards. Vodka bottles are the main culprits here. Also very heavy to carry around!
- But the one that I will address below is the can casually thrown into the undergrowth. Where it ends up deep inside the brambles and it is far too prickly a process if a standard litter picker is used to try to reach it. I mean, throwing the can away is still antisocial, but deliberately throwing it into a location where it cannot be reached by the average litter picker is just perverse.
- The same goes for dog poo bags. Often not taken home but also thrown into the undergrowth, on the grounds of out of sight, out of mind?
- And for good measure, I have now gotten into the rather odd habit of classifying the discarded cans into both their contents (yes, mostly LAGER cans) and their countries of origin. It is strange indeed that many are imported from afar from other countries, only to sadly end up here in those brambles. I will not yet name and shame all those countries, but it is tempting.
Well, we now have access to a power-picker! Just look at it below! It truly reaches into the depths of the brambles that other litter pickers cannot reach! Finally, those inaccessible cans, poo-bags and other ghastly detritus can be delicately plucked from where they should not have been in the first place and placed in the collecting bag.
Wielding such a power stick took a bit of getting used to. But at least now we no longer sigh at the unrequited sight of something uncollectible lurking in the brambles but can harvest it and walk on happier. We would be happiest of course if there were nothing to collect.