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More than half of Kiwis admit to throwing food scraps out the car window

By Amber-Leigh Woolf | 12 Sep 2019 15:49


Throwing an apple core out the car window is as Kiwi as a summer roadtrip.

‚ÄčAnd that's backed up by a study which shows the most common type of rubbish thrown out the window is fruit.

But we shouldn't do it - an apple core can take eight weeks to decompose, and orange peels and banana skins up to two years, and it attracts vermin. 

AA Motoring Policy principal communications advisor Dylan Thomsen said motorists should treat roads like the streets of their own home.  

"It's really just a case of people showing a bit more common sense and consideration."

A study of  more than 1000 people conducted by YouGov Research for Avis Budget Group found the most common type of rubbish thrown on roadsides was fruit skins, pips or apple cores.

Additionally, almost 20 per cent of Kiwis admitted to throwing chewing gum, 16 per cent cigarette butts and 10 per cent to throwing items such as food packaging or plastic out the car window.

Thomsen said  it wasn't a big ask for people to keep their rubbish in the car until they could stop and drop it in a bin. 

Throwing items from cars could also be dangerous, he said.  

"In a moving vehicle, anything thrown out of it will have a heap of momentum and can bounce off the road and into people, animals or other vehicles."

Despite bad habits, almost two thirds believed more effort needed to be taken to clean up litter on the roadsides, and seven out of 10 in the survey agreed people should be fined for littering.

Almost three quarters said educating tourists how to dispose of rubbish was a good idea.

Millennials were the untidiest Kiwis, with almost two thirds (63 per cent) admitting to throwing litter out the car window, followed closely by Baby Boomers (59 per cent) and Gen Xers (55 per cent).

Most were happy with what they did  for the environment, however, 10 per cent said they "don't go out of their way to be environmentally friendly".

Wellington City Council environment partnership lead Tim Park said there had been many reports of food dumping around Wellington. 

Drivers dumping things out the window only sent a message to others that it was okay to do the same, he said. 

"It does feed rats and it can feed possums if they're around," he said. "It's best to wait and put it in a bin, even if it might be a bit manky." 

New Zealand Avis Budget Group general manager Bruce Vincer said the amount of litter on roadsides continued to increase despite most Kiwis claiming to be aware of the environment and rubbish. 

"Regardless of what object or food is being thrown out of the window, it's about disposing of all types of litter responsibly to ensure it doesn't make its way onto rural roadsides and city streets as well as parks and waterways."

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1056 adults. Fieldwork commenced on Thursday,  May 2  and was completed on Monday, May 6, 2019. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all NZ adults (aged 18+).


Source: Stuff

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