Many people claim that cleanups are not the answer to plastic pollution. And they are correct: No matter how hard we try to remove the trash that is polluting our urban and natural environments, we will never be able to get rid of it unless we stop producing more and more waste.
That, indeed, should be our ultimate goal. But, in order to achieve it, we need to convince lots and lots of regular people, governments, and companies that a big change is needed. And cleanups can help us get there. How? Consider the following ideas next time someone argues about the foolishness or the futility of cleaning up someone else’s trash:
At a selfish level, every single step you take, every squat, every tug or push is bound to make you healthier and stronger!
Every single time you look at an area you cleaned up, you will see the immediate and tangible effects of your effort to make this a better world. You will see that what you do matters.
Every single piece of plastic (or any other humanmade item) you remove from the environment is a real hazard you are eliminating for an animal or a plant that may get in contact with it.
Every single person who sees you cleaning up a public area will walk away with a positive image in their head. They may decide to do the same at some other point. They may join the movement to push for the culture change we need!
We have reached a point in our societies at which not littering is just not enough – we need to proactively take steps to counter the littering pollution.