This opinion is trash

Why littering is not a good thing to do


Eli Ballesteros

Littering has been a problem at the school. It’s common to see empty chip bags and dented soda cans around the school.

The length for a full school day is six and a half hours. During that time, the students and the staff need to eat in order to remain energized throughout the rest of the school day. People do not perform as well in school if they are hungry because they can not focus due to the lack of nutrients in their body. According to, 80% of kids experiencing hunger tend to lack concentration skills.

Lunch is a common part of high school schedules. For teachers, it is a time to relax, discuss topics with other staff members, and catch up on work. For students, it’s a time to socialize with peers, use their phones, and leave campus. However, the main purpose of lunch is to eat. 

Since food often comes packaged in plastic wrappers, those wrappers need to be thrown away. However, quite a lot of people also have a tendency to leave them on the floor, resulting in littering in the school. 

Littering has become a problem. It seems that you can not go outside without seeing an empty bag of chips or a dented soda can. Not only is this an environmental problem as most food packaging is non-compostable, it is also extra work for the janitors at the school. Trash is easy to find inside the school, especially in the cafeteria. Oftentimes, trash gets stuck to the carpet or put under tables and chairs.

There are plenty of trash cans around the school and inside each classroom, so why are people leaving their trash on the ground?

There are plenty of trash cans around the school and inside each classroom, so why are people leaving their trash on the ground?

One conclusion is that it could be due to laziness or exhaustion. Students often get tired throughout the school day, classes can be tough to get through, and workloads can be exhausting. Some students go to sleep pretty late at night, maybe past midnight, which could add to their tiredness. When lunch ends, they may just get up and head to their next class, forgetting about the trash they left behind.

Another reason could be due to lack of time. Some students eat lunch in areas off campus, such as the forest. Time flies by during lunch, so it is easy to forget about the distance between you and your next class period. Trash cans are not usually in these areas so students could leave their trash on the ground in an attempt to minimize the time it takes to run to class.

Another factor could be that they simply do not care. A lot of people are ignorant, clueless, or inconsiderate. A few are negligent towards the environment. Several people are selfish and privileged. A bit are unfortunately uneducated on why littering is bad.

The Keep America Beautiful 2020 National Litter Study found that over 50 billion pieces of trash are scattered across U.S. roads and rivers. At places with large amounts of people like malls, parks, and schools, littering is not uncommon.

According to, litter not only breeds bacteria and attracts insects and pests, it also can cause illnesses when you come in contact with it.

Fires can often be caused by litter too. Forest fires are often caused by people leaving cigarettes on the ground that are still lit. Glass in the form of bottles and jars can also cause forest fires because sun rays are easily absorbed by glass shards, and they conduct heat very easily. 

The influx of littering could be due to laziness or exhaustion. (Eli Ballesteros)

Littering can also negatively affect the ocean. Illegal dumping happens when people throw large quantities of trash into the ocean. Trash can also be collected by storm drains which can lead into the ocean. Marine life is often impacted by this because certain trash can suffocate them or release harsh chemicals into the surrounding water. According to, 8 million metric tons of trash and debris are dumped into the ocean each year. 

When trash is thrown away, most of it ends up in landfills. The trash in these landfills is often burned in order to get rid of it. The fires release toxic chemicals into the open sky which leads to air pollution, which can cause acid rain and respiratory health issues.

While the litter from our school is not going to cause all these problems, it definitely adds to them.

Whatever the reason, it is a problem that is solvable. Students should come up with a plan to help minimize and or eliminate this issue on school grounds.

One solution to the school’s littering problem could be that the student body starts a committee or club dedicated to limiting the amount of waste products we leave on the ground. Perhaps the environmental science class can take the lead in coordinating it. Getting more students involved would raise school wide awareness. 

If you see trash on the ground, pick it up, even if it’s not yours. It’ll help in the long run.