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Pick Up 1 Thing Today

July 17, 2018

Although littering has decreased in recent years, you can still drive down the highway or your local road and see trash discarded from passersby. Regardless of the excuse, it’s bad for everyone.

Chewing gum, cigarette butts, fast food containers and plastic bottles are the most likely things to be littered. A lot of that trash finds its way into rivers and eventually the ocean. According to Whale and Dolphin Conservation, an estimated one million birds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die each year due to trash. They become trapped in plastic and can’t swim properly or eat it thinking it’s food. Scientists say it’s one of the biggest threats to whales and dolphins throughout the world's oceans.

To see just how much waste is accumulated each year, VISUALLY created this infographic.

From Visually.

Littering not only hurts the environment but could hurt your wallet or record. In Missouri, littering is a Class A misdemeanor under the criminal code of Missouri, so anyone convicted of littering may be imprisoned in the county jail for up to one year and/or fined up to $1,000. 

In Illinois, the penalty gets steeper after each conviction. First conviction: class B misdemeanor, fine up to $1,500. Second conviction: class A misdemeanor, fine up to $1,500. Subsequent convictions: class 4 felony, fine of $25,000 and imprisonment between one and three years.  If convicted of littering on a public highway, the violator may, in addition to other penalties, be required to maintain litter control for 30 days over a portion of that highway.

Let’s clean up our space one piece at a time. What 1Thing will you do today? Try setting an example and pick up one piece of trash today.