Virginia’s No Love for Litter Pledge

According to the Virginia Department of Transportation almost $3.5 million tax dollars are used each year to clean up trash along roadways. They claim more than half of the refuse is from motorists, while another quarter of it is because of pedestrians. Whether its a result of incorrectly covered loads or people who decide to litter deliberately. An astonishing 75% of all littering is deliberate.
Litterers fail to understand that their blatant disregard of the law affects everyone. Litter affects everything from economic development, public safety, and recruitment of new industry to the Commonwealth of Virginia, which affects everyone’s quality of life. According to Keep America Beautiful, Inc., smokers litter about 4.5 trillion cigarette butts yearly.
Cigarette filters are made of cellulose acetate, a plastic that degrades slowly in the environment, if at all. Filters are designed to trap carcinogenic chemicals that smokers don’t want in their lungs and bloodstream. Littered butts are carried by wind and storm water runoff into nearby water bodies. The cancer-causing agents in the filters leak into aquatic ecosystems, threatening the quality of the water and aquatic life.
Littering is illegal. Most people are unaware of littering fines. Section 33.1-346 of the Code of Virginia makes littering or dumping trash a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine up to $2,500.
Everyone is encouraged to take the new No Love for Litter Pledge and join VDOT’s newest campaign to clean up Virginia’s roadways. Each Virginia jurisdiction has a litter program manager or contact, and a unique litter program. Some jurisdictions encourage citizens to report litter bugs, heavily littered spots or stretches of road, or an illegal dump site.
To find out specific information about recycling or litter prevention program activities in your area, visit your locality’s web site by using any of the web-based search engines.

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