For the first time in 1000+ days there is no pay dirt. Mark November 2, 2015 in the litter history book, the first day in more than a thousand that not a single litter story has surfaced from any corner of the world.
Now that doesn’t mean nobody littered. (I wish.) It just means yesterday was Sunday, a slow news day, rare and therefore remarkable. Tomorrow the litter news tap will flow again when today's reports reach my feed.
In the vague distance I can almost discern the sound of mumbling voices saying, “Get a life!”
But I swear litter is an important topic that requires monitoring on a global scale as well as personally and locally.
Had I not the interest in littering and a passion for bundling this news for broader consumption, I would have missed some landmark stories this week. The landscape of litter policy is a moving target – always something to shoot at.
I would not have known, for example, there now exists a free guide for food service establishments on tackling litter, a joint project of Keep America Beautiful, National Restaurant Association, and the National Packaging Association. Give one of these to every food seller, vendor and restaurateur.
I would have been unaware of a national legislative change in Bolivia that promises to come down hard on people who dump and litter.
I wouldn’t have known about the launch of the world’s first open online university course on marine litter (MOOC), a UNEP-backed initiative.
Nor would I have known about the latest marine litter studies that alert us as clear as warning buoys: plastic litter is imperilling the ocean’s health - a priority problem that must be addressed. I don’t care whether it’s Hong Kong, the Great Barrier Reef or the remote Barents Sea in the Arctic, research is all pointing to the same conclusion.
We need to get a grip on litter.