Litter is like a treasure trail left behind by man’s triumph over nature – a little reminder to everything else on this planet that we’re in charge. Our forefathers fought hard to give us that right, so let’s enjoy it.
If you’re like me, you’re a very, very busy individual and don’t have the time to wait until you find a garbage can to dispose of your litter. Think of all the energy we would waste if we did that with every single thing we bought. It’s absurd.
So you can imagine I was immensely pleased to learn the City of Toronto has pulled popular ads from an anti-littering campaign after companies whose brands were partially featured complained.
The ads, made to look like common scenes of litter, were plastered in print publications, on transit shelters and the outside of city buses. They littered the landscape. They were eyesores.
The campaign’s slogan was “Littering says a lot about you, ” and used ads that featured discarded candy boxes, plastic bottles and other packaging arranged to spell unflattering messages.
They took popular brands like Red Bull, Reese’s Pieces, Gatorade, Drumstick, Sweet’N Low, Life Savers, Lay’s chips and Krazy Glue, and manipulated their names to spell things like “lazy, ” “low-life, ” “dumb and “dipstick.”
Some of the companies that own those brands weren’t happy.
“It was around the trademarks, and they thought the campaign could have a potentially negative effect on the brands, ” city spokesperson Siobhan Ramsay told the Toronto Star. “All of the images have now been pulled.”
Thank goodness. What company wants to be associated with any campaign that portrays littering in a negative light?
It’s a fine, long-held Canadian tradition, tossing out stuff you don’t need anymore. What’s the point of buying a cup of coffee or a bottle of water or some fast food if you’re saddled with all this garbage afterward?
Don’t we pay people to carry away our garbage, after all?
Ramsay declined to say which companies protested, but I say good on them. It’s about time somebody takes a stand in defence of littering, and I’m grateful some of these companies were brave enough to stand up and do it.
Everyone knows litter is good for nature, too. It provides food and shelter for critters and helps build man-made ecosystems in our waterways. It’s an extra layer of mulch for our public spaces and gives our dogs something to sniff and chew, kind of like a free toy.
Toronto had it right. Littering does say a lot about you. It says you’re awesome.
So next time you’re walking through a park and you see a lowly animal looking up at you, admiring your superiority, toss your litter its way and say, “You’re welcome.”