The ‘‘war on plastic’’ and waste has featured heavily across traditional and social media in recent months.
A brief wander down Wyndham St, or along any of our roads and river banks, will quickly demonstrate how badly the message is being lost locally.
Shepparton has a waste problem.
It can be observed most keenly around popular fast-food outlets, but few streets are immune.
Food wrappers, discarded coffee and soft-drink containers, alcohol containers and plastic straws are anecdotally the worst of the offenders.
The type of litter speaks to a consume and toss it away culture.
Offenders are displaying a particular disregard for their community, placing their selfish wants and needs above others and the habitat of our local wildlife.
Plastic and other rubbish is not only ugly; it is dangerous to local birds, fish and many other native animals.
Clean Up Australia day may come and go every March, but it seems we need to maintain such a campaign all year round to cope with the selfish behaviour of a few.
This is not a local government problem.
The City of Greater Shepparton provides adequate bins along our streets and parks.
It even supplies free plastic bags for owners to cleanly dispose of dog poo. (Although that initiative may attract criticism in the ‘‘war on plastic’’ era).
This is a people problem, and it is up to all of us to fix it.
We can collectively make a difference.
It may seem demeaning to pick up someone else’s rubbish, but you are the good person in that scenario.
Just as those who are tossing aside their rubbish for others to deal with, or animals to be harmed, are the villains.
It takes little effort to hold onto rubbish until a bin presents itself, failing to do so is lazy, selfish and inconsiderate.
Such behaviour deserves scorn and ridicule.
We are blessed with a natural environment integrated through our townships.
Making the most of it is a collective responsibility we should easily be able to cope with.