Since Fred went missing, we have been out searching for hours and hours every night, and all day all weekend. It's demoralising when you spot a white shape underneath a bush and rush to it only to discover that it's a plastic bag half-buried under leaves. When you're actively looking under every hedge and behind every tree stump in the whole town, you notice how massive the litter problem is. There is so much trash everywhere.
As Sherlock Holmes once said, once you have eliminated everything that is not Fred, whatever remains, however feral, must be Fred. Therefore today we accompanied our searches with a litter picking binge. We won't get our hopes up over a plastic bag if we clean up this town so that there aren't any plastic bags.
I collected one large heavy-duty binliner and seven carrier bags full of garbage. And there's plenty more still out there! Litter Heroes calls on big brands like McDonald's and Red Bull to do something about the amount of litter that originates in their establishments, but I honestly don't believe they are at fault. It's their customers who are littering, not them. They also sell to the low end of the market, to people likely to be younger and poorer than average, who have a lower level of investment in their community. It's this community disconnect that causes litter, not the brand. Litter taxes on food would punish those same poor people who are already marginalised - and cheap calories are one of the great unsung achievements of mankind, 20th century oil glut and agricultural subsidies notwithstanding.
The major trash brands I came across today were energy drinks (including Red Bull, but mainly Lucozade), bottled water, Carlsberg, and Yazoo milkshakes (wtf?). And cigarette packets, of course. Ah smokers - where would the righteous be without you?