When talking about litter, there are many different sources but ultimately it comes from us and our land-based behaviour. Individual items are dropped, large quantities are fly tipped and loose waste arises as a result of infrastructure failing.
In the end, the majority of debris makes its way to the sea, either directly, via waterways, or through run-off. Some of the debris ends up on our beaches, washed in with tides, but some is eaten by marine animals that mistake it for food. For the waste that gets trapped on land, its fate is similar - infiltrating the earth, contaminating soil and impacting wildlife habitats.
Locally, food packaging and cigarette butts are some of the most commonly found waste items collected during our clean-ups, but what's important to note is that these forms of litter are, in many ways, preventable.
The Adopt a Patch project aims to encourage people to take responsibility for a local area, whether it be your walk to school or the road outside your house, by regularly removing litter. By encouraging individuals to take accountability for patches across the island, we can work together to keep our island clean.
These regular clean-ups help build a better understanding of our land-based litter so that we can start cutting waste at its source.
Do you always clean up a certain patch or is there an area of the island you care about the most? If so, let us know and as you go, log your litter in our report so we can stop waste spreading through the environment.