“Waste not, want not” ~Benjamin Franklin

  • According to Wikipedia, cleaning up litter in the U.S. costs hundreds of dollars per ton, about ten times more than the cost of trash disposal, for a cost totaling about $11 billion per year. That's money which could have gone to building wind turbines, or planting trees and flowers.

  • The several trillion toxic cigarette butts littered worldwide annually are responsible for fatal fires and the deaths of numerous mammals, birds and reptiles who eat them.

  • Litter reduces property value, because it sends a message that people don't take pride in their community.

  • In Georgia it costs $90 million annually to throw away 2.6 million tons of cans, bottles and newspapers that are collected and moved to Georgia landfills. Those items would have an estimated market value of $300 million if they were recycled.

  • According to the U.N. Environment Programme, plastic debris causes the deaths of more than a million seabirds every year, as well as more than 100,000 marine mammals. Syringes, cigarette lighters and toothbrushes have been found inside the stomachs of dead seabirds, which mistake them for food.

  • Twenty years ago Burger King did a study which determined that $1 million of unopened ketchups got thrown out each year. Imagine the savings if restaurant goers everywhere only took what they needed.

  • Finally, littering is symptomatic of apathy, the root of virtually all problems. So, by stigmatizing littering, you don't merely mitigate the aforementioned problems.

More Information:

How to Confront a Litterer
Litter report calls for introduction of recycling incentives
Great Pacific Garbage Patch Researchers Find Even More Plastic than Expected
The world's rubbish dump: a garbage tip that stretches from Hawaii to Japan
Paper, Plastic, or Something Better?
IKEA U.S. 'Bag The Plastic Bag' Initiative Asks Customers to Stop Plastic Bag Waste
The global ramifications of littering
S.F.'S 17 SOLUTION: Stop throwing away grocery bags, save millions
The Hidden Costs of Grocery Bags
The Real Cost of Free Plastic Bags
The Great Plastic Bag Plague
Cigarette Litter Down 54% Thanks to Keep America Beautiful's Prevention Program