I pick up trash. I carry my grocery store plastic T-shirt bags when I walk or bike around the neighborhood and pick up recyclables like plastics, aluminum cans, and glass bottles. If the stuff is too yucky I let it go but in most cases I just bend over and do it. I used to get angry about littering but a couple years ago I decided I wasn't too good to do something about it. Also some recyclers give a percentage to breast cancer research and that's certainly a motivator too.
So, I've learned a bit about the food and beverage habits of North Georgia litterbugs. Beer preferences are uninspired. The largest industrial beer company with its coorespondingly largest advertising budget is the beverage of choice for the vast majority of beer drinking litterbugs. Food containers likewise reflect the fast food chains and soft drink giants that are most heavily advertised although Starbucks is an outlier with potential for producing big litterbug numbers. Wine has not made it into the big leagues with litterbugs percentage-wise compared to food and beer but it took a while to catch on with the rest of us too. So maybe there are prospects for growth here too.
One surprise for me in my picking up province is the prevalence of plastic water bottles by the sides of roads. Back during the so-called cultural revolution, many people replaced soft drinks with the new stuff, bottled water, for the obvious health benefits. Recycling was just getting started too and it just seemed natural that bottles of this pure beverage should be disposed of properly. It was like, what's good for inside of us must be made good for the environment. Now I think a lot of working guys in pickups around here throw their empties in the back of the truck and they blow out going down the road. Plastic bags too. It happens.
I mentioned above how advertising influences the litterbug community in its food and beverage choices. Gallo is the industry leader in wine sales by far and while I don't know current advertising numbers, at one time I remember hearing they had done as much as 75% of all wine advertising. The few wine containers I find by the side of the road reflect seriously advanced advertising numbers. Among the brands Gallo has rode to success are Ripple, Thunderbird, Night Train, and Boones Farm. Constellation, the second largest wine company, has marketed Richard's Wild Irish Rose since the 1950s. These are the kind of wine products that in an earlier era built portfolios that now include fine dinner wines. These are also the kinds of wines that end up as highway road litter.
Recently I picked up a couple bottles of MD 20/20 Electric Melon in a secluded bend in the road where litterbugs like to dump stuff. (Some litterbugs prefer to drop their stuff in less public places or cast them away from the roadside like they are ashamed or something. Perhaps similarly, Gallo doesn't list the Ripple, et al., on their website.) MD is made and marketed by The Wine Group, the third largest wine company in the world, and producers of Almaden, Big House, Concannon, Corbett Canyon, Cupcake, Fish Eye, Flipflop, Foxhorn, Franzia, and many more. To their credit they do list MD with the others. As I looked down at the MD bottles I remember thinking, "Electric Melon is a damn fine wine name", and then I wondered whether one person had drunk both bottles and then after that I remembered finding a needle and syringe in the same place some time earlier.
Lord have mercy.