Editorial: Pick up litter; help beautify the community

Published 9:59 pm Tuesday, May 29, 2018

This time of year, the best and worst of a community can be on display.

While people are outside taking part in more recreation, checking out the beautiful parks, lakes and other amenities, oftentimes with that comes an increase in litter.

Though paper, metal and glass litter is down nationwide, plastic litter has increased by 165 percent since 1969, mostly through beverage bottles, according to Keep America Beautiful, a nonprofit organization dedicated to litter prevention.

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Picking up a bottled drink may be convenient, but it is important to keep in mind that plastic bottles take several hundred years to completely degrade, and some could even take as many as 1,000 years.

These statistics are staggering, and Albert Lea is not exempt.

Though city staff and others work diligently to keep our community clean, litter can still be found on sidewalks and trails, in parks and even in our lakes.

Community members must do their part, too.

You don’t have to organize a formal highway trash pickup or spend hours walking around one of our lakes picking up litter.

Simply think before you drop a piece of trash on the ground, and choose to instead dispose of it properly. Think not only about the long-term impact of litter on the environment but also the appearance we give to outsiders of our community.

We can all do better.