Litter and socio-economic groups

I’ve heard a few folks who’ve complained about litter in areas that have a predominantly ethnic minority background.

“It’s their culture”, they’ve said, “such a shame for the area”.

Taking a run through a deprived local estate that is predominantly white, I’ve seen far worse littering and fly tipping.

It’s not the ethnic minority background that’s behind the littering, it’s more related to the socio-economic status of the area. We easily ascribe characteristics to very visible differences – partly that’s the availability heuristic. That’s not to suggest every individual is the same across status groups, not at all.

Let’s do better. At seeing people without misconceptions, and at creating a society with better, cleaner aspirations.

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