My name is Adam Kataoka and much to the chagrin of my oldest son, I pick up litter.
Growing up in Toronto, Canada I took for granted how clean our city and country was, and still is really, compared to other parts of the world. However, I feel like one company in particular is quite noticeable in the amount of trash I come across. It is called Tim Hortons and their bags, tea bags, donut boxes and especially single use cups dominate the landscape. To be fair, there seems to be one on every corner of our country, so naturally when it comes to litter it’s logical to assume this would be the case.
Because of my discovery, I decided to create an Instagram account to highlight the problem. I hope to show people, through creative photography, the effects littering is having in our neighbourhood. I don’t alter, change or move the subject(s) before photographing it. I want the viewers to see exactly what I see.
After photographing the subject I dispose of it in the proper bin. Although my Instagram account only focuses on Tim Hortons litter, I do stop and pick up other litter on my walks. The city of Toronto is quite good about providing plenty of garbage and recycling bins along the streets and at most bus stops. There is really no excuse for just tossing your trash on the ground.
It is amazing some of the places you find litter, it’s seem to be everywhere except a bin sometimes! I’ve found litter stuffed in holes of tree stumps, in planters lining the street, wedged through the slats of park benches, in sewer grates, part of store displays and the best is right beside a garbage bin not in it (#soclosesaturdays)!!
My hope for the future is to become more engaged in my community. I’d like to organize litter pick up events. Although our city does a decent job collecting along the streets; our parks and waterways could really use some help. I would love to have Tim Hortons involved either by providing clean up supplies or with some sort of sponsorship.
Tim Hortons also needs to change the way they provide single use cups. Environmentally friendly products could be used. At the very least there needs to be an effort made to properly recycle what they use now. The plastic lining cannot be recycled within Toronto because they don’t have the proper equipment to break it down and separate from the paper outside. Tims has a program where they offer $0.10 off a drink if you bring your own mug. Perhaps greater incentive can be used as it is in other countries to encourage people to use reusable mugs. More marketing should be done by Tims to promote a more sustainable future.
I have two young boys and I am very concerned that we are leaving this world far worse for the next generation. When you hear stats like there will be more plastic in the world’s oceans than fish by 2050, that is quite troubling. I hope to do my small part while encouraging others to do theirs.