Litter leaves a trail of negative footprints ……

  • Every year, millions of visitors get their first glimpse of our state from their car windows as they travel along Florida’s highways.
  • Roadsides are a useful indicator of the amount of litter in the environment.
  • We all end up paying to clean up Florida’s highways, parks and waterways.
  • Local governments spend thousands to keep litter off miles of locally-maintained roads.
  • According to the 2010 Florida Litter Survey, the majority of respondents felt that individuals between the ages of 13 -24 were most responsible for littering and nearly a third believed that the litter came primarily from motorists.
  • A poll conducted by the University of Florida revealed that the top three items littered consisted of paper (22%), cigarette butts (18%), and fast food waste (6%).
  • Litter collects in and around areas such as parking lots, vacant lots, loading docks, dumpsters, construction sites, residential neighborhoods, streets, shorelines, and roadsides.
  • Key reasons why people litter include: They feel no sense of ownership; they believe someone else will pick up after them; litter has already accumulated; and littering is convenient.
  • Litter is part of a complex solid waste problem that affects Florida’s environment and economy.

Litter makes our roadways unsafe ……

  • Litter is a safety hazard. It is distracting to drivers and can obscure vision or crack windshields.
  • More than 25,000 accidents are caused by vehicle-related road debris each year in the U.S.
  • About half of all litter is unintentional, for example, debris flying out of the back of a pickup truck.
  • 2 in 5 Americans admit to littering in the past month.

Steps You Can Take NOW:

  • Set an example and dispose of trash in proper receptacles;
  • Carry a litter bag in your car;
  • Never throw anything out of the car window;
  • Ensure that trash receptacles are properly covered when placed outside for garbage collection;
  • Secure your load when you carry trash or loose items on top of your vehicle; and
  • Advocate small changes, such as picking up one piece of litter a day.