Posts Tagged ‘fag ends’

The Daily Mail’s campaign to ‘Spring clean for the Queen’ is very laudable indeed but what a shame there are so many people out there prepared to litter and foul this green and pleasant land in the first place. And what is worst many foul the streets without the slightest inkling they are doing so. I refer to the smokers and gum chewers.

Smoke and chew gum by all means but why should I have to tolerate your leftovers. Walk down any street and you see their debris and detritus. It’s everywhere you go. Cigarette ends scattered like confetti on the streets, in the gutters and doorways, paving slabs dappled grey and white from gum as if pock-marked by some strange contagious disease. Pack it in you inconsiderate morons, stop flicking and spitting it away. It really is LITTER, not some exempt matter or ambrosial nectar for sharing!

Finally a fact: 30 million tonnes of litter is picked up off our streets every year costing council tax payers £858 million a year. At £80 a toss for those who think fags and gum don’t constitute litter isn’t it time there were a few more convictions?

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Let me declare where I stand straight away. I don’t like smoking; I hate it and dislike being in the company of people who smoke. It’s not the people, well not always; it’s simply I detest the smoke and the smell. I will tolerate smoking to a degree in order to be polite, but I really prefer not to. If people want to smoke, so be it; it’s their decision. Everyone knows the risks. I appreciate too the arguments put forward by both sides of the smoking and non smoking lobbies, the burden smokers and smoking puts on the health service. That’s for someone else to argue about another day.

No, what really does annoy me, well actually infuriates me, gives me a real dose of the ‘Victor Meldrews’, makes me see red and increases the blood pressure, is the debris and detritus that accompanies smokers and smoking. It’s everywhere you go. Discarded cigarette ends, fag ends, tab ends, butts, call them what you like. It’s litter, plain and simple. Rubbish, garbage, trash, junk. Why should we have to put up with all this mess lying all around? Walk down any street and you see it. Not just the odd one or two discarded ‘ends’ but dozens, sometimes whole piles. Like confetti on the pavement, in the gutters and in doorways, strewn about everywhere. You see smokers doing it. Dropping their fag ends to the pavement, flicking them into the gutter, grinding them out beneath their shoes, sticking them to the top of rubbish bins, tossing them out of car windows. Next time you see a smoker watch to see what they do. Pack it in. Stop! You inconsiderate morons.

How would you like it if they were shoved through your letterbox, dumped on your doorstep, thrown over the fence into your front garden? Well, would you mind or just accept it with a resigned shrug! Not only is it an offence to drop litter it’s inconsiderate, offensive. So why do it and why in the street or the park and in a public place. Have I missed something? Are they now suddenly reclassified as ‘non litter ‘or a special item to be treated differently to normal litter? Is there suddenly an open season for discarding smokers’ left overs! Is it suddenly socially acceptable to litter as long as it’s something small. Does no one care anymore?

Then there is the smoke. Yes, I know it has to go somewhere and appreciate the new laws banning smoking from certain public places, bars, pubs etc. A big improvement, and long overdue. But now you find groups of smokers huddled together on doorsteps, outside offices, shops and pubs all lighting up, puffing away and blowing smoke in your direction as you pass. And when they have finished what do they do?

My apologies to those responsible smokers amongst you. To those of you who are not, and you know who you are, pick it up, eat it, put it in your pocket, a waste bin, anywhere. Just don’t drop it. Please!

Litter Bugs

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