Graham Turner: Please take your rubbish home

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As I drive up and down the A14 each day, I look into one particular layby and inwardly groan at the state of the verge and hedge behind it.

I know I’ve had nothing to do with it, but I’m embarrassed by the mounds of detritus that have built up over the years. How can people – presumably drivers – have so little respect for the environment?

Recent letters to the Bury Free Press have highlighted various problem areas when it comes to litter and, of course, BBC Radio Suffolk this week relaunched its popular Don’t Be A Tosser campaign – an initiative we should all get behind and support.

I’ve never really understood how anyone can just discard their litter wherever they happen to find themselves, be it chewing gum, cigarette stubs or food wrappings, there’s simply no justification. Yes, it can be a nuisance finding yourself in possession of used tissues, old shop receipts or whatever, but it’s no great hardship stuffing them into a pocket or hanging on to them until you find a bin.

Car and lorry drivers have even less excuse – I keep a carrier bag in the car for my rubbish.

One recent correspondent to our letters page blamed ‘grazing’ (people eating take-away food as they walk along) for an increase in litter in town centres and I can see her point – rubbish is even more disagreeable when it contains the half-eaten remains of a meal.

If my mother-in-law were in charge, this would not be a problem – she never allowed her children to eat in the street and, to this day, my wife refuses to do so (ice cream and lollies excepted!), no doubt worried about the consequences if her mum found out. Perhaps that’s the answer – promote the message in schools and at home. Michael Gove is keen to change the national curriculum, perhaps he could find a ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ slot in there somewhere and perhaps even pop into into the new test for people wanting to become British citizens.

n Regular readers may be interested to know that last week I decided to give up my allotment and on Monday I sheepishly showed a fellow villager his new weed-strewn plot. Luckily, he didn’t seem too appalled by its condition. I wish him luck and better weather than I enjoyed.