Freeway Trash Snowstorm

There was a lovely snow storm this July, sorry you missed it. I was coming in on I-5, as the wind blew the bright white fluff all over my Prius, up and down the lanes, and into every bush, drain cover and field.  Yes, lovely except for it was Styrofoam coming out of an uncovered pick-up truck.  The foam covered miles of the freeway, and as every car ran over this crap, it broke it down into smaller and smaller pieces, making it nearly impossible to clean up after this irresponsible driver.  And off to the rivers and streams this goes – and finally into our oceans.

This frustrating incident got me thinking about the millions of tons of debris and pollution caused by pick up trucks and other careless drivers.  Not that the truck itself is an inherently bad thing – its the drivers, their hasty and frantic need to haul anything that will blow away, and the total lack of response when they lose a load.

I started doing some research on statistics on total amounts of freeway trash, it was startling to read an unending stream of newspaper stories, blogs, state reports, federal reports about this very issue.  Some agencies estimate between 3,000 and 5,000 pieces of trash (large and small) on every mile of freeway across America.  That seems astronomical.  However, it opened my eyes, I started seeing trash everywhere on my last few errands.  Have I become so used to seeing plastic bags, cigarette butts, paper shreds, and pop bottles?  We will ever get a handle on this, or are we destined to be living in our own waste?  It took a snow storm of styro to wake me (back) up, what will it take for the rest of us…

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