Being a Litter Champion brings out the sleuth in me, my inner Miss Marple. Every trail of litter tells a story. In my mind’s eye I build a picture of the litterbug (or bugs) in question.
Yesterday, the thaw began, so I grabbed my litter picker and with snazzy blue collecting bag swinging off my arm, set off to snatch up litter as it emerges from the melting snow and ice. By the end of the walk my bag was no longer swinging, it was weighed down and clinking. I returned home and surveyed my stinking booty – 36 cans of Diet Pepsi of various ages, from mint condition through to ripped and rusty, all of which were collected from the same 50 metre stretch of road.
Miss Marple deduced that this was not the result of a single litter dropping incident. It seemed improbable that a coach load of Pepsi addicted Weightwatchers members should pass through the lanes of Bethania. No, this was the work of the lone Diet Pepsi drinker who, judging by the state of the cans, has been driving this way for some time. The discarded cans were all in the same verge, so our litterbug always drinks the can of Pepsi on the same leg of the journey, I’m guessing it’s a pick me up caffeine hit for the early morning journey to work. Given the lack of convenience stores round these parts, I’m also guessing that our litterbug’s shopping list for the weekly supermarket run includes at least one multi-pack of Diet Pepsi. The random assortment of cans left in my bag suggests that in desperate times our bug has had to resort to Diet Coke as a substitute for the preferred brand. What saddens me most about my find is that the only conclusion I can reach is that our litterbug lives locally and cares not a jot about the Welsh countryside. Our bug speeds through the lanes slowly enough to wind down the window and toss out the empty can, but too fast to see the ugliness left behind.
My fear though is that the bug is more observant than I give him/her credit for, and is perhaps both well aware, and perversely proud, of the trail of glittering aluminium in the hedgerow. In collecting up the cans I have inadvertently laid down the proverbial gauntlet and initiated a Pepsi Challenge with a twist. Can the bug drink Diet Pepsi faster than I can collect the litter? Am I destined to be the owner of the world’s largest empty Diet Pepsi can collection? Just who is the demon Diet Pepsi litter bug? More importantly, has he/she actually lost any weight?