herald

Sunday 11 December 2016

Most of us lack nerve to confront litter louts

Litter on the footpath at Ushers Quay in Dublin.
Litter on the footpath at Ushers Quay in Dublin.

More than half of us would like to stand up to litter louts but we do not have the nerve, polling has suggested.

Only one in six people (15pc) said they would confront somebody they saw dropping litter, while 54pc would like to but would not dare, the survey of more than 2,100 people for environmental charity Hubbub found.

However, an overwhelming 86pc think littering is a "disgusting habit", with two thirds strongly agreeing with the notion.

Half-eaten food or fast food packaging, litter thrown out of a car window or left in green spaces, used chewing gum and empty drinks cans and bottles are among the rubbish people find most annoying.

People believe the most effective ways of tackling the problem of litter are to provide more bins and to make littering as socially unacceptable as drink-driving, rather than higher fines or more council spending.

The results were published as Hubbub unveiled its "litter manifesto", calling for more action from businesses and local organisations to make public spaces cleaner, safer and more inviting.

"Littering affects us all - making our local spaces dirtier and less welcoming and encouraging anti-social behaviour - and it's up to all of us to take immediate action to tackle it," said Hubbub founder Trewin Restorick.

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