In the fourth iteration, our fortnight-long, monthly #KTforGood campaign focuses on the problem of littering.
It's just a cigarette stub! Or is it? A cigarette stub here, a cola can there, leftovers, tissue papers, burger wrappers, plastic cups, bottles, caps and crowns, foam takeout containers, plastic bags, straws, cigarette boxes, cartons, packaging material, construction waste, debris. before you know it, you have a mountain of trash on the beach, in the park, or even in the middle of the road. Time to bin it.
Literally. And along with the litter, time to bin the rubbish excuses, too. How can 'there was no trash can around' possibly justify you risking lives and ruining the environment? Yes, that is what littering amounts to. Litter is harmful to humans, animals, and the environment - it's a fire, accident and health hazard, could lead to blocked sewage pipes and waterways, and is a source of pollution. Let's not let our laziness become a source of all these ills and more.
We live in a beautiful country. The UAE has an amazing landscape with pristine beaches, lush parks, picturesque marinas, enchanting lakes, charming corniches, fascinating bridges, and some very gorgeous-looking buildings. The municipalities of the respective emirates leave no stone unturned or litter unpicked when it comes to the roads and other public places. UAE authorities continue to do what it takes to free our cities and desert of the litter - raise awareness, incentivise through providing bins all around the emirates, and deter through fines. But that means millions of dirhams spent every month in manpower costs and clean-up efforts - money and resources that could otherwise be spent in constructive beautification.
Natural northwesterly shamal winds in the UAE often result in sandstorms, which means that any litter left unattended in the remotest parts of the desert can pose a life-threatening hazard to wildlife, especially camels. One just needs to ask a vet on how damaging it can be when plastic bags and other litter left around by callous campers are consumed by unsuspecting animals and marine life. They can choke, their intestines can get blocked, and they can starve to death because their stomachs feel full of all the plastic that their bodies cannot discard.
In the fourth iteration, our fortnight-long, monthly #KTforGood campaign focuses on the problem of littering, which brings with it not just the issue of visual pollution, but also poses serious health and hygiene hazards for humans and our entire ecosystem. Through our daily dose of news, views, data, videos, infographics and propositions, Khaleej Times will not just raise awareness about this menace but also urge, implore, encourage, and inspire each one of our audience to play their role, conscientiously and effectively, to make littering culturally unacceptable in the UAE. It isn't the job of authorities alone to keep our city and our country neat and tidy. Especially when it comes to public parks, beaches, and our own localities, we all have a shared responsibility to keep our surroundings litter-free.
Khaleej Times is keen to hear from organisations - both commercial and charitable - that are interested in joining our campaign. Do get in touch with us at Editor@KhaleejTimes.com or through one of our several social media platforms.
Individuals interested in the campaign can follow it via #BinIt hashtag on social media. And remember to take the #PickThatTrash challenge - if each one of us picks just one piece of litter every day and drops it in the nearest trash can, imagine the kind of impact it can have in making our city litter-free. Together, we can and we shall make a difference.