Littering has a lasting effect on the environment

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Everyone in Pearl River County has seen it – a beer can on the side of the road, a plastic bag floating through the wind or a pile of cigarette butts outside of a business. Everyone has seen trash and debris first-hand throughout the county. What people often cannot see, however, are the devastating effects litter has on the environment.

On April 21, the 4th annual Keep Poplarville Beautiful cleanup will be held at Poplarville City Park. The purpose of the event is for volunteers to collect as much trash as possible across the city. Afterwards, the trash will be measured so everyone can see the impact of the event. 

In last week’s Board of Aldermen meeting, Laurie Jaufre said in addition to making the city cleaner, she hopes this year’s event will raise awareness about the devastating effects of littering.

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Pearl River County is primarily rural, meaning there is a lot of wildlife. In an environment with so much wildlife, litter can be deadly to them. Throwing unwanted food on the side of the road could lure hungry animals, increasing the risk of a dangerous or even deadly confrontation. Inedible trash on the roadside could be just has harmful, especially if an animal eats something poisonous or chokes on a piece of plastic.

If a lake or river is polluted, entire populations of fish and other wildlife could be killed. If a water source is clogged with debris, nearby communities could be flooded.

Most trash does not biodegrade quickly and over time can affect the soil and surrounding plant life. In addition, when left in or near the forest, litter can even increase the risk of wildfires. While it may seem harmless at the time, littering can damage the environment in countless ways. Join volunteers at this year’s Keep Poplarville Beautiful to raise awareness and make a difference in the community.  And don’t just get involved this April, make an anti litter campaign part of your daily mission.