10:23 Thursday 12th May 2016
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire
PAUL STAINTON: Litter a hot topic with you guys this morning. It really is. This from Trev in Manea who says:“We have a dedicated group. We get together once a month or so and tidy up in different parts of the village.” Great respect for them. Dale in Eye says:”Paul what an absolute disgrace and an awful introduction to England the link road is from Stansted Airport to the M11. It’s covered in litter and multiple potholes. It’s absolutely unbelievable.” Yes. And you know you could say well they should clear it up, they should clean it up. But should people have to clear up after people? And why? Why do some people in society think it’s acceptable to litter the countryside and just make it look a mess. Does it drive you mad? Just what goes on in the mind of someone who throws crisp packets out the car windows? Campaigners have found 20 year old crisp packets in the Forest of Dean. And we’ve found some old coke cans and all sorts this morning. And we’ve just had a little look. We haven’t even done it scientifically. Well let’s speak to Jen Orrell who’s on the Communities Team at Peterborough Environment City Trust, who try and look after Peterborough anyway. Jen, morning.
JENNIFER ORRELL: Good morning Paul.
PAUL STAINTON: What would you like to do with people who litter the countryside? Can we broadcast it?
JENNIFER ORRELL: I’d like to encourage them to get out there and ..
PAUL STAINTON: Nicely done.
JENNIFER ORRELL: ..start litter picking themselves.
PAUL STAINTON: Nicely done. Yes. How would you encourage them Jen?
JENNIFER ORRELL: Well there’s lots of community groups that they can get involved in. Here in Peterborough we have RiverCare groups that go out on a regular basis and get out there litter picking. It’s really beneficial for their health and well-being and they get to meet like-minded people.
PAUL STAINTON: How do we stop people doing it in the first place though? Because nobody likes to see it. We don’t want our hedgerows and our roadsides covered in litter, do we? Why should we have to pick it up?
JEN ORRELL: I know. I think it’s down to individuals making choices about throwing litter on the floor. But also as individuals we can make choices over the packaging that we buy. We can try and buy items with less packaging, or take containers to the market and avoid creating litter that way.
PAUL STAINTON: Yes. And we have to think of the effect that this litter has on the environment don’t we, and the animal kingdom? We’re looking at this Forest of Dean story this morning. A packet of Worcester Sauce and Prawn Cocktail flavour crisps from 1994 with a Royal Mint scoop promotion from when Manchester United were number one with Come on You Reds. Eh? What damage is it doing?
JEN ORRELL: So it’s really damaging to wildlife. Wildlife can get stuck inside the litter. They might eat it by mistake and that’s not very good for their health either. And it doesn’t look very appealing either does it?
PAUL STAINTON: No. And it just goes to show some of this stuff just doesn’t go away.
JEN ORRELL: I know. I couldn’t believe how old the crisp packers were, and it just goes to show that waste is an issue.
PAUL STAINTON: Well I’ll tell you how old they were.
JEN ORRELL: We don’t know how long it takes for them to decompose.
PAUL STAINTON: Tell you how old they were. The Walkers salt and vinegar they were in a blue packet.
JEN ORRELL: Yes.
PAUL STAINTON: They’ve not been in a blue packet for years.
JEN ORRELL: I know. I know. Apparently plastic bottles take up to 450 years to decompose.
PAUL STAINTON: Yeah. Do you think it’s just ignorance? Just people just don’t realise what they’re doing?
JEN ORRELL: I’m not quite sure what it is Paul. I myself don’t litter. Just people making bad decisions.
PAUL STAINTON: Like you mentioned, you organise groups to pick up litter. If people do want to get involved, what can they do?
JEN ORRELL: They can have a look at our website. www. pect.org.uk. And we’ve got our annual Green Festival coming up in August, and we’re organising some litter picks for that. So it would be great to see some people volunteering and getting ivolved.
PAUL STAINTON: OK Jen. Thank you for that this morning. Thank you for coming on at short notice. Jerry Spencer says: “We need to fine the companies running landfill sites Paul. The area around the Dogsthorpe tip in Peterborough on the A47 at Eye is always an absolute pigsty. I went to Germany through Belgium a few years ago. I was absolutely amazed at how clean it was. Picture postcard standard everywhere.”