No, not as in Puppies. That might be a subject for another time>

Else where there is discussion of  litter and littering.

Whilst reading some of these discussions I was reminded for some reason of the biblical Ten Commandments and the reason that Moses and his cronies formulated them.

It is indeed strange how the human mind operates at times. Especially this one.

Back to Moses (who supposes erroneously ) and his Ten Commandments which he ascribed, erroneously no doubt, to one of the many gods that people believed in in those days.
There can be little doubt that one of the reasons that Moses drew up his list of Commandments was to try to ensure a peaceful existence in the Desert.

I expect that some of you are wondering what this has to do with littering and some of you are way ahead of me.

Simple rules like: Don’t throw litter, Do not Litter, or best of all; Take your litter home with you, are formulated so that we can live comfortably alongside one another. So that we can, at the least, not make the world a worse place to inhabit than it already is. So that we can keep the nice bits nice. We have a duty to preserve our world.

Yes, I think I would put something about not littering in my list of Ten Commandments if I were a modern day Moses.

It is not just the unsightliness of litter that concerns me however. Being a country boy at heart I am only too aware of the danger of litter to livestock. Barbed wire can be deadly. Plastic bags can choke. Broken glass can cripple.

On top of all this there is the danger posed to wildlife. Working as a teacher I very often used to take classes to our local Field Study Centre . One of the exhibits that used to be shown to the children wasa glass bottle found in the Forest. Within the bottle was the skeleton of a small rodent that at soem time had been tempted into the bottle by the residue of sweet beverage and had been unable to make its way out.  Enough said?

the deposition of litter on our streets and i the countryside is a sin. A sin against the world that we should be exercising stewardship over. Throwing aside ll things like plastic bags is as heinous as throwing drums of poison overboard into the sea.


8 Responses to “Litter…”

  1. Delirious Says:

    Just a note of correction: According to the Bible, it was God that wrote the ten commandments, not Moses. Moses even saw the finger of God as He wrote. 🙂

  2. magpie11 Says:

    A matter of opinion of course. At that stage in the evolution of God the Israelites were still polytheistic “You shall have no other god before me.” ie You will not worship any other god in preference to me.
    It’s a good story though! helps the teller wield power. 😉

  3. Grannymar Says:

    Anyone who has walked on a rusty nail or broken bottle will certainly agree with you. We humans can ask for help, alas the animals cannot.

    I never thought of making my own list of ten… one of these days I must give it as try.

  4. padmum Says:

    In India we are waging a huge battle against litter. Many cities are trying to control plastic bags being issued by supermarkets free. So a charge is being levied. But the small vendors are happily using these fly-in-a-gust-of wind bags liberally.

    In Chennai these plastic bag waste is being used in road tarmacs….and the Municipality could not find enough and to buy it while the whole city was littered with plastic.

    Today we have a new waste management firm working in the city with experience from Singapore…we are waiting to see if it will make a difference.

    I had made a list of Ten Demandments!!

    • magpie11 Says:

      Ten Demandments….lovely…

      Over here it is trendy (cool?) in some circles to use hessian or cotton bags as “Eco-friendly”. I wonder if they help the economies of the countries from which they are imported ? Especially the poorer people?
      I heard on the radio a few weeks ago I heard that the energy balance between these bags and plastic ones was something like 160 to 1.. the “Eco-friendly” bag requires 160 times as much energy to produce and transport than one plastic one…..

  5. Nick Says:

    I wouldn’t agree that a plastic bag in the street is as bad as drums of poison being dumped in the sea. And I’ve also read that plastic bags are actually better than “eco-friendly” bags:

    Ordinary litter doesn’t bother me that much, but dog shit drives me crazy. Totally anti-social to pedestrians, particularly those who are blind.

    • magpie11 Says:

      I take the attitude that all littering with “man-made” products is wrong. Apple cores and such into the hedgerows I can deal with. In fact I know where there is a wonderful apple tree which can only have grown from a thrown core. By Man made I mean manufactured/processed: so paper is man-made. It may rot down, eventually, but it is at the least unsightly. Throw your waste £50 notes in my direction though.

      Allowing a child to throw litter develops an attitude to the world which is essentially undesirable. The thin end of the wedge. That child might well grow into an industrialist who pollutes the world on a greater scale. Or maybe they grow into dog owners who omit to train their dogs to use the gutter or who don’t collect up their dog’s faeces.

      We teach our children to love nature and yet they are not taught not to throw away litter. In fact their parents encourage them to do just that…..

      No Nick, laissez faire is not good enough. Just as black bags instead of dustbins are not good enough…..bloody urban foxes and cats…but who can blame them? 😉

      Do you realise that we haven’t touched on the evils of land-fill disposal?

  6. magpie11 Says:

    Having read the article one or two things occur to me.

    Firstly, I have a hessian bag that is three years old…donated to me on the purchase of two cheese straws at Borough Market ( ) just before Christmas 2008….it’s just about surviving

    Growing up in the 1950s and ’60s, times of real austerity in the U.K. we re-used everything we could. Paper bags and carriers were neatly folded and put in the “paper drawer” along with pieces of string and old candles. Remains of soap were kept in a bowl and blended together. Vegetable peelings were composted along with worn-out paper bags and almost anything else organic. Worn out, I really mean worn-out, cotton and wool clothes were also used in the garden, at the bottom of the bean trench along with old silage or cow manure.

    Old wood and offcuts were burned on the fire, to this day I chop up the same and give it away as kindling.

    You can’t do any of those things with a plastic bag tho’ can you? Maybe one could shred it and use it to insulate the roof space? Nor can one do any of these things with so much plastic packaging.

    Which brings me to re-cycling: So much less efficient than re-using items. Most re-cycling is energy expensive.

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