Tired of putting up with 'pig people'

June 10, 2013

I get a lot of chances to watch the habits of people who frequent public walkways and outdoor cafés. There are the early birds out for a walk or walking their dogs before stores and coffee shops open. The coffee hounds appear when the coffee is brewing. Some drink their brews right there; others carry theirs away. Afternoon strollers wander aimlessly along the paths, window shopping, occasionally buying. Evening folks hurry to a rendezvous for a dinner date. Late night revelers wander or stagger home from the bars.

Littering is officially a victimless crime, a public nuisance or a misdemeanor offense. But is it really victimless? Bits of paper from straw wrappers, coffee cup holders, stirring sticks, paper cups and napkins, and more. Cigarette butts, cigar butts, cigarette packs, plastic wrappers all clutter the sidewalks, the patios, doorways, steps, that we all use. Even where there are cigarette butt containers, there are butts on the ground around them.

Why do some of us drop our trash on the ground instead of finding a receptacle? Is it because it is not immediately handy to reach? Is it because we don’t even think about it? Recently I noticed a man throwing an empty plastic water bottle into a patio area, when there was a large trash receptacle not three feet away from him. Why are there cigarette butts right outside the doorway to a food store, when there is a receptacle right there also?

I call them the pig people - no offense to the pigs - but more indicative of the humans’ propensity to mess up the environment around them by careless littering.  The refuse is also a danger to your pets, from health risks from food waste and other trash on the sidewalks.

P. Fretz
Rehoboth Beach

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