June 1, 2021
In a recent Litter Study, Keep America Beautiful found more than 50 billion pieces of litter were left on our roadways and in our waterways. That number equates to 152 pieces of litter for every U.S. resident. Cigarette butts continue to be the most widely found litter.
Although, other types of litter are also common. These include:
Just as surprising is that litter on the roads has actually DECREASED in the last ten years by more than 50%!
Despite this decline the statistics are quite staggering. On roadways there were close to 24 billion pieces of litter, or 73 per every U.S. resident. Another way to look at it is 2,857 pieces of litter per mile of roads in the United States. Freeways and expressways had over 6x as much litter as local roads.
“Americans understand that litter has a strong negative impact on their communities. Large majorities of U.S. residents (75 to 97 percent) recognize that litter negatively affects the environment, waterways, property taxes, home values, tourism and businesses, quality of life, and health and safety in their communities.”
– Keep America Beautiful 2020 National Litter Study, published May 2021
People know they shouldn’t litter, but clearly some still do. So, how do we stop the trashing of our roads and waterways? To end littering, improve and beautify communities it will take a group effort of government representatives, community organizations and leaders, and committed businesses.
– Many DOTs have an 800# or an app to report litter violations. Information can be found on the state DOT website.
– Join Keep America Beautiful’ s community of volunteers – Keep America Beautiful programs has a network of over 700 groups that actively educate and participate in litter abatement. They offer resources from simple ideas to forming a community group on how to get involved.
– Adopt-A-Highway Litter Removal Services works with businesses and DOTs to keep the roads safe by cleaning miles and miles of roads every day. Through sponsorship sales, we removed more than 1.5 million pounds of litter in 2020. Contact us, if you would like to learn how to Sponsor-A-Highway.