THE IDEA BEHIND THIS STORY. By David Stevens
The intent is to provide an insight for young children into the process by which litter is created, and demonstrate an example of what happens to it during its life. From commodity through to waste and on to reclamation or land fill and disposal.
The enclosed story is told through the life of two items purchased in a shopping arcade, telling their individual stories and the very different ways which their lives unfold.
By David Stevens.
Crispy-Crisp and Fizzy Pop started their shelf life in the same Superstore, however they would go to two very different children. Leading up to the Superstore was a lovely arcade with tubs of sweet smelling flowers and hanging baskets with flowers drooping like ballerinas. There were seats to sit on, and a lovely water fountain whose water chuckled over stones just like music.
Inside the store it was cool and shaded from the sun. Thousands of items jostled on the shelves, all hoping that today would be their day to be sold. Crispy-Crisp had enjoyed being on the shelf, but was even more excited when a small pair of hands placed him in a large shopping trolley. It was fun talking to the bright yellow bananas in there with him and hearing of their long trip in the hold of a large ship. An orange all the way from Spain smelled lovely, and Crispy-Crisp liked the green paper wrapper she wore.
The Check-out was good fun; he liked the moving belt taking him along towards the big wide world. Suddenly everything changed for Crispy-Crisp, rough little hands tore at his shiny wrapper, fingers poked inside and a small mouth ate his contents.
To Crispy-Crisps horror those same small hands screwed up his lovely shiny packet, and threw him onto the floor, making the lovely arcade all messy and untidy. He was not alone either, there were all kinds of litter laying about him on that floor.
He felt so sad, what should have been so much fun for him had been spoiled and he was now dirty and it was no fun at all. People trod on him, shopping trolleys rolled over him, he got sadder and sadder and more bothered as the day went by.
When evening came a man put him in a large black plastic bag. It was very dark in the bag, no one spoke much, but when they did it was all grumbles.
"Oh well," thought Crispy-Crisp, what a day it has been and it had started so well, but now look at me.
Meanwhile Crispy-Crisps friend Fizzy-Pop, enjoyed her ride in another supermarket trolley. Her chat with an information leaflet was very informative, and she admired the new wrapper on the tomato sauce squeezey bottle. Fizzy-Pop loved the ride on the moving belt and was very surprised that she was not put in a shopping bag with all the other shopping.
"Because its your birthday Jessica," she heard, "You may drink your fizzy pop as we walk to the car."
It was nice being jogged up and down in the little girls hands as her fizz and bubbles were slurped up a gaily striped straw.
Outside it was warm in the sun and the flowers looked so bright and pretty. When all Fizzy-Pops bubbles and fizz were gone, the little girl walked across the arcade and put her, now empty, in a litter bin with a bright yellow lid and marked RECYCLING.
People in the litter bin were quite friendly and chatty and there were new ones arriving all the time, it had been a lovely lazy day.
As the sun was going to sleep in the sky, a big dustbin lorry squealed to a halt and the bright litter bins contents were cheerfully emptied by a whistling man, into a big metal cage.
Across from fizzy-pop on the other side of the wire in the truck was a big black bag, it looked so crumpled and sad, Fizzy-Pop wondered who was in it.
I have had such a lovely day, sighed Fizzy-Pop, and so many nice chats, I had a good giggle with a lolly-pop wrapper and a drinks carton. A chip bag was full of greasy jokes, and apple cores and orange peel made everything smell so nice. As she lay in the big rubbish cart Fizzy-pop heard a loud sad sigh.
"Oh dear it's very dark in here and I have had such a horrible day." A distant voice said.
I wonder who that could be thought Fizzy-Pop? My day has been so nice, being all slurped up through a straw and then a long lazy day with all others in the recycling bin. But then I am not in a nasty black bag.
"What's your name," called out Fizzy-Pop?
The voice from the black bag said with a very sad sigh. "My name is Crispy-Crisp.
"Why have you had such a horrible day?" Asked Fizzy-Pop of Crispy-Crisp.
"It started off well enough and it was nice being on the shelf watching every one go by, doing their shopping. I quite liked the trip in the trolley and it was nice going through the check-outs, but then this nasty little boy ate all of my crisps which was fine, but he then when they were gone screwed up my nice shiny packet and tossed me onto the floor. Everybody walked over me from then on! I have been trod on, run over and squashed. It was awful, just awful. Then along came a man, he picked me up and put me into this horrible black bag with lots of other things and tied shut the top and its so dark in here now and no one wants to talk or be nice to me anymore."
"Oh dear," said Fizzy-Pop, "how sad that some children and adults throw us away on the floor and not in the right place which is the litter bins that we should be put in."
The lorry driver got into the big lorry and cheerfully slammed his driver's door. He began to whistle again as he started the lorry's engine and drove off. The drive was nice in the cool of the evening, Fizzy-Pop could see the sun going to sleep in the sky.
For poor Crispy-Crisp it was very dark, nobody in the black bag was happy, they, like him, were having a good grumble to each other as the lorry shook and banged along the road.
"Cheer up," said Fizzy-Pop. "We are all classed as litter."
"There's litter and there's litter," grumbled Crispy-Crisp.
"Yes," sighed Fizzy-Pop. "I expect that is true, but I did have a lovely day on the shelf, my lovely little birthday girl really enjoyed me and she put me in the bright yellow litter bin for recycling."
It was nice lying in the shopping trolley listening to others chattering and laughing on their way around the shop. Lollipop wrapper had enjoyed it too, and so did the drink carton.
"Well it's all right for some," grumbled Crispy-Crisp. "But there are some children and even some adults who just drop us on the floor, and then we are not just rubbish in a bin, but thrown away and ignored litter on a floor which is not nice. We see things very differently from the ground and many people find us unsightly, so instead of pleasant chatter we hear all about the litter-louts who dropped us." Just think if everybody dropped their discarded litter on the floor how soon it would be knee deep and very very smelly.
At last the lorry arrived at the big tip, Fizzy-Pop looked around her quite excitedly, she could also see there were large seagulls flying high in the sky above her.
There was a lot of noisy activity and lots of different things going on, it had quite a confusing atmosphere. There were wrappers, bottles, tins and cartons from all over the world. Some spoke in Japanese, others in French or German, it was all very exciting for Fizzy-Pop.
Poor Crispy-Crisp could only listen, he could not see out trapped as he was in the horrible black plastic bag. Suddenly there was a loud grinding of gears as the back of the lorry lifted up, a section of the lorry opened and all the black bags were tipped out onto the rubbish dump.
As the black plastic bag containing Crispy-Crisp fell from the cart, it split open, suddenly Crispy-Crisp could breathe freely again. He saw the last fading light of the days sun and he heard the sea gulls screeching up above, he then caught a glimpse of the bright red label of Miss Fizzy-Pop, before more rubbish fell on top of him.
"If only there were not litter dropping people, it would have been a much nicer life for me," he thought. "Better luck next time," called Fizzy-Pop as the light faded. "When you are re-cycled maybe your next journey will be a better one."
Fizzy-pop did not know that Crispy-Crisp would not be recycled because he was just litter, not reclamation like her. He would be left in the land-fill site, whilst she would be recycled into something new, and bright, and cheerful again.
"Good Night all," called Fizzy-Pop from her storage cage.
"Please everybody," called out Fizzy-Pop, "Please use the litter bins for your rubbish and put your recyclable things into recycling bins, it makes our lives and yours so much better and keeps everywhere much cleaner."
Night time and silence settled over the rubbish tip, even the sea-gulls that lived on the tip fell silent.