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Of brand names and the volume of litter…

Today’s fact:

12.4% of U.S. solid waste is plastic. (University of Michigan)


It is testament to successful marketers when their products compete successfully for shelf space or consumer attention. On another scale, I suppose there is a linkage between market share and the proportional contribution to litter.

That is my perception after a few hundred of these daily walk/reflections about picking up someone else’s discards.

It is very nearly a called shot: the beer cans will be of the Coors or Anheiser Busch variety. Fast food is invariably McDonalds or Burger King (although Wendy’s seems to be gaining ground). Bottled water is Evian or Deer Park or other more generic names from Walmart or others. As for soda, Coca Cola rules the pathways with Pepsi a fairly close second.
Those are what my experience shows but they are far from the only brands. Someone would have to sort through the photos and count the brands by name. But brand name or no, it all adds up to unwanted volume.

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I was a writer by trade so one would think letters would come easily for me. It is so now, but wasn't always that way. Indeed, the first letter was written the Monday after Ellen started her freshman year in college. For years I've wondered - with no good answers - why I swiveled my office chair toward my computer screen to fire up a word processing document for that first letter. I just don't know. I just did. Perhaps it was the angst of separation or wanting to say things that had gone unsaid at that moment when we parted ways in front of her college dormitory. What was a one-off became habitual. When her brother Reid enrolled in the same college, his name was added to the salutation line. They were kids then and are adults now. No matter. The letter writing habit remains so today. I live in Brevard, North Carolina. I'm well away from where they live and don't see them nearly as often as I'd like. That's why letters, at least to me, fill the void of distance. The pages give me something to say and the space to say it. There is no assurance they read the letters; indeed, I have never asked if they do so. With the pace of their busy lives who could blame them for letting a letter sit unopened? Over time, it has dawned on me that the letters are both communicative - and cathartic. By nature, letters are about the writer; the writer can only write about their situation. Perhaps that is as it should be. It's all about the here and now from one person's perspective.

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