Like a lot of people I definitely need to get more exercise, so I decided to walk to work this morning.

Five minutes into my two hour walk (I had massively underestimated how far it was), I quickly realised just how much litter there is around Colchester.

I had a bit of time to kill so I started counting. Not every tiny piece, just the easy to spot items; cans, bottles, receipts, fag packets and an astonishing amount of McDonald’s wrappers. I’m sure some people will find that a bit sad, but like I say I had a lot of time to kill.

The amount of litter slowly increased as a crossed Mersea Road into Staling Road, and quickly increased as I passed the beauty spot of Bourne Mill. Then, as I approached the Recreation Ground I started to see it everywhere. On the grass, at the side of the road, in the middle of the footpaths.

I stopped counting when I reached 1000 items at the bottom of Harwich Road. 1000 in less than 3 miles.

Littering is scummy. It’s not as if there are a lack of bins. In fact, there are actually a considerable amount of bins around Colchester when you start to look. You don’t have to walk far before you see one.

And if there isn’t a bin? Well, you can always take it home. A novel idea, I realise, but nevertheless it’s a great way to be a decent human being.

I can hear people now: “It’s the council’s responsibility to clean up litter!”

Actually, it’s your responsibility not to drop litter in the first place.

As for the people who complaining about animals ripping their recycling bags open overnight, there’s a simple fix for this: don’t put the bags out until the morning of collection and put food waste in the food caddy. Don’t leave it to your neighbours, volunteers or the council to pick up.

Please, have pride in where you live. Choose not to litter.

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