Litter is detrimental to economic development

Published 6:43 pm Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Pearl River County is growing; evidence of that growth can be seen in the form of new construction along any major highway. What can also be seen along those same highways could be detrimental to the future of that growth, litter.

To some it may seem unlikely that litter can hinder the economic growth of a community. But keep in mind; company owners looking to start a new business or relocate an existing one take note of a community’s pride. A street strewn with discarded fast food containers and beer bottles does not reflect community pride, rather it demonstrates a lack of respect.

There have been reports of executives of major companies touring coastal counties in Mississippi. However, as soon as they saw litter along the roadway they immediately requested to be returned to the airport. The reason they left without touring the rest of the area was because to their way of thinking if a community lacked the pride to keep their roads clean, how could that company ask their employees to relocate there.

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The fight does not begin and end with educating adults on litter control; it involves the education of children as well.

Children are the key to the future, so teaching children not to litter instills a sense of pride and respect for their environment. And that respect will be passed on to their children.

Litter is not just a problem in Pearl River County, it occurs in every state and every community. Cities such as Philadelphia began programs that teach children the importance of putting litter in its place.

The City of Picayune also started a litter control campaign that involves community members spending a Saturday picking up trash in their yards and throughout their community. However, if the trash was not there in the first place that Saturday could be better enjoyed doing something fun, like watching a ball game at the park or fishing with family along a clean river or creek.

Justification from people who litter includes statements such as, “I’m giving the trusties something to do.”

Without litter however, their time could be used in other areas, such as providing maintenance to parks or keeping roads maintained.

If a community displays pride in their hometown it will help attract new businesses and companies, which can provide our children with jobs that provide future and great quality of life.