I volunteer my time picking up trash along the parks and trails that I frequent here in Phoenix, and I've got to say - I simply can't understand why so many people feel the need to trash the fragile scenery of our hiking trails? You wouldn't believe the amount of trash I find along the trails.
Can you guess what's the most-littered item of trash that I pick up? Cigarette butts!
Yep, I said cigarette butts. I didn't realize that so many smokers hiked. I've picked up thousands of butts. It's seems counterintuitive for hikers to smoke, but I've even picked up butts located at the summit of mountain trails. Who would have figured? Climbing a mountain to have a smoke. Crazy.
But what really ticks me off is finding discarded plastic bottles along the trails, the type of disposable bottled-water bottles sold at grocery stores. I mean, really, who doesn't have the energy to carry out their empty drinking water bottles? It grates on my nerves.
Disposable water bottles come in a close second to cigarette butts in terms of items littered, but they're the most unsightly (and uncalled for) type of litter. They stick out like a sore thumb in the desert scenery, and just like cigarette butts, they're NOT biodegradable.
I know that it's almost impossible to enforce, but I think disposable water bottles and other types of single-use plastic bottles should be banned from ALL parks and trails. They're ruining the landscape. Right now, only some of the National Parks have banned disposable plastic water bottles, but things could change if we would just think outside of the bottle.
Source: 10 reasons why national parks should buck the bottle