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Littering from end to end

The 2024 Convex End-to-End (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Dear Sir,

As a participant in the Convex End-to-End yesterday (April 27, 2024), and as the daughter of a born-and-raised Bermudian, I have something to say to the organisers, walkers and refreshment-tent sponsors.

According to your Saturday, April 27 article, “Thousands take part in Convex End-to-End”, the organisers state, “At its core, the End-to-End is about more than just physical exertion; it’s about community spirit and giving back.”

Well, the community certainly gave back.

What they gave back, sadly, were a swath of plastic spoons; half-eaten granola bars still in their wrappers; a few hundred empty packets of jelly beans, fruit snacks and gummy bears; paper cups; discarded ice packs and towels; and artificial leis constructed of faux flowers and plastic tubing. Rather than carry their litter to the nearest bin, Bermudians and expatriates alike disposed of it at the most convenient spot on the Railway Trail — that spot being wherever they decided.

Some of the comments I heard along the way were: “Everyone else put it there” and “Someone else will come along and pick it up”. A bitter combination of fallacy ad populum and the free-rider problem.

I walked from St George’s to Dockyard in memory of my father and, for the first time since his death, I was relieved — relieved he didn’t have to see this beautiful island strewn with rubbish.

I offer a gentle suggestion for next year’s End-to-End: in place of small plastic bags filled with sugar, how about larger plastic bags that the walkers can fill with any rubbish they come across along the way?

That, in my mind, would fit the definition of “community spirit and giving back”.


Norfolk, Virginia

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Published May 02, 2024 at 7:59 am (Updated May 02, 2024 at 7:21 am)

Littering from end to end

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