Picture this: it’s a sunny day and a perfect time to experience the beauty of the great outdoors… but the moment you step out of your door, there’s a pile of rubbish welcoming you with an open heart. The frustrating and depressing reality of big black plastic bags and people’s casual rubbish littering Malta’s streets is something many islanders have to face on a daily basis, with people seemingly have no regard to the initiative by the government to ‘sort out’ their rubbish.
Littered streets look like an abandoned ghost town, and residents of towns like St. Paul’s Bay, Buġibba and Qawra share the same plight. Littering affects people’s mood, wellbeing and health, and while many can easily point the finger at irresponsible seaside tourists sipping their beers and leaving the bottles anywhere and everywhere, this needs to be something that we all tackle together. While canning so many problems like population, pollution and construction in our beautiful country, the least we would want is to add one more issue to the list.
But what’s more dangerous is the ‘lack of concern’ some residents have towards this critical matter. Unfortunately, for some people, it’s a big task to wake up and throw their rubbish at a designated spot in proper bags on specific days. They just leave it outside for hours on end, resulting in unpleasant views all around.
Government efforts are not up to the mark, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg
Local Councils have imposed fines on various places where it is illegal to leave your garbage or to litter, but a quick drive around these localities will prove that such initiatives have all been in vain.
Residents have also started to take the same approach, putting up notices on the walls urging people to use the appropriate bags and stick to the waste collection days.
Many locals believe that rubbish collection (or the lack of it) compounds the problem
“Bins for public use are relatively scarce and the collection of rubbish is not nearly frequent enough,” one Qawra resident told Lovin Malta. “We want more garbage trucks.”
Due to the windy weather, the Maltese islands have been bombarded with over the last couple of months, most of the uncollected rubbish is quickly blown around, and scattered litter attracts even more unwanted attention. Throwing rubbish anywhere creates a mess and negatively affects the appearance of the surrounding. Rotting garbage starts to stink and ultimately becomes a platform for various harmful diseases. At times like these, where there is an inevitable problem of population in the near future, littered streets and roads will create another undesirable quandary.
But what can we do?
The solution is actually quite simple. All we have to do is be aware of the timing of the garbage collection and use the appropriate bags so that there will be no litter on our beautiful streets.
For smokers, keeping a portable ashtray will also work as a jewel to your crown. It does not leave a foul smell and works just fine.
Following the ‘Sort it out’ initiative, Local Councils and the government will help in keeping the surroundings clean as there wouldn’t be any extra rubbish outside buildings for too long.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going, and it’s our responsibility to do what we think our local councils are failing us on. Initiating clean up campaigns in your locality will also add to the cause. All you need is a pair of rubber gloves, some plastic bags and a playlist of your favourite songs with a pair of headphones.
Last but not the least, it is our onus to keep our beautiful island clean and to spread awareness about it.
If you see someone randomly littering around you, feel free to navigate them towards the nearest garbage bin.