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Maddening! Litter, but this takes the cake

June 27, 2014

I have often lamented about how awful littering has become in Finland. It seems there are stories about it in the daily news with reports about the mountains of garbage that the City of Helsinki (for example) picks up because of the disposable and throw-away culture we have become accustomed to.

I think it is unacceptable, and where there are opportunities to reduce, reuse, recycle (upcycle) and just-plain say no, we should exercise those options.

I was walking to work this morning and saw this cup discarded beside the sidewalk. This makes me crazy – this is GREENWASHING! There is nothing that makes the world better by using disposable cups – biodegradable or not.

WP_008174 WP_008175

<rant over>

10 Comments leave one →
  1. June 27, 2014 3:12 pm

    Have you checked out the litter news website at ?

  2. anonymous permalink
    June 28, 2014 11:08 am

    Beats plastic, though, because that stuff either fills up the landfills of get burned and releases the carbon dioxide of the fossil fuels used to make it into the atmosphere.
    Frankly, I wouldn’t have the least bit of problem with that cup if the energy used to make it, transport it, etc. was all carbon neutral.

  3. Sonia permalink
    June 30, 2014 4:36 am

    This is truly not very advanced. Have you seen the tea spoons at the ABC station? They are silver-paint coated, real, one-way plastic spoons! They don’t look very compostable either. It’s so awful that there are no jobs anymore to push a button of a dish washer, but there is always room for more waste in Finland!

    I don’t know if it changed, but another example of a short-sighted saving: when we analyzed the services of Nuuksio during the studies, a group of foreign students reported that there was no rubbish bins around the bbq place and it was very dirty. We had a guest speaker from the tourist services and she told us that tourist were supposed to take their waste with them, so the city does not provide rubbish bins. Bet, not everyone will!

    What strikes me too are the plastic bags for shopping! The statistics was shining bright again, but I am used to having a bag/basket/box for large grocery shoppings (and in Germany at least 80% of the people in the queue will, because they are too greedy to pay for the plastic bag and are usually (not all) concerned about the environment) while Finns usually buy smaller grocery amount and use enormous amount of plastic bags. It is now slightly improving, but it looks like the awareness of mid 90s in my home country to me.

    The land deposit rate is still huge in comparison to West European countries (except UK, which was lagging behind, too). For example, Sweden is also much ahead.

    I still remember the scene from the “Katastrofin aineksia” documentary by the Canadian, John Webster, who wanted to have unpacked veggies in a Finnish supermarket…

  4. Sonia permalink
    July 3, 2014 2:14 pm

    Today I have heard on radio (Radio YLE Suomi) a report about plastic bag behaviour here in Finland. Exactly the same what I’ve observed.

  5. Sonia permalink
    August 27, 2014 8:40 am

    And you are so complaining about Canadian signs… great idea!

    There is a reason to tell in Finland. “Littering says much about YOU”.

    In the very beginning of Night of the Arts, thousand pieces of a glass bottle nearly hit my face when a car has driven over it. Then I walked towards the main station – along the whole street, there was not a single litter box, not even at a bus stop. So what does Helsinki expect when saving on litter collection fees?!

    I often disagree with my Finnish husband, who is admiring German cleanness, speed of fixing broken (public) places and… hear hear… public toilets. In my opinion, there is a lot of dirt and poor behaviour, too. But he has a valid point – “Just make 82 millions Finns instead of 5 millions living in the same size of area – crows will be cruising all over Finland.”

    In fact, there is some truth in it, when you see it in this relation.

  6. Sonia permalink
    August 27, 2014 8:49 am

    Okay, one more: the city of Bamberg took into use “bottle rings” for the sake of dignity for those who live out of collecting return bottles so that they don’t need to dig in the litter bins. Not sure yet if this works out. And now think, recently the Finnish media was reporting that bottle collectors’ income should be taxed…

    • August 28, 2014 5:35 am

      I saw in Metro lehti last week that they have fixed some kind of can holder to garbage cans in Helsinki as well.

      Taxing the income of bottle collectors is insane – good luck with that! 😛

  7. Sonia permalink
    August 28, 2014 7:53 am

    Good *thumbup*! Let’s see how long they stay/serve.

    Things like that need communication and marketing though.

  8. Sonia permalink
    August 28, 2014 7:54 am

    Here it is:

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