Fireworks Litter

The Heath is a community space for exercise and relaxation. Anyone can use it but they have a duty to take care of it for the benefit of everyone else, now and for the future. It goes without saying that litter should be placed in the bins provided or taken home for disposal. Most people accept this and do their bit to look after The Heath but our regular litter-picks reveal that some people do not.

We collected 30 bags of litter on a recent litter-pick, including the usual food wrappings, cans and bottles that litter-louts had carelessly discarded. We found fly-tipped rubbish, including ceramic plates, bed sheets and garden refuse. There was also a large quantity of plastic debris, a sample of which is shown in the photo.

Firework Plastic Artefacts

Our research has found the debris was caused by fireworks, possibly a display of some sort. An inquiry to a local professional fireworks display company has identified the firework as a “Cat 3 Multi-shot Cake” type that can typically hold from 50 to 1000 shots. Each shot ejects from the cake on a random trajectory making a whistling sound that culminates in a loud bang.

We understand that this type of firework isn’t generally used by professional display companies because they are responsible for the clean-up after the event and hence have a ‘no plastics’ policy. It seems likely, therefore, that this debris has come from an over-the-counter firework set off by a private individual. As the debris has appeared since our previous litter-pick in September, it also seems likely that the fireworks were set off as part of a Bonfire Night or New Year celebration.

While we all enjoy the spectacle of fireworks, they must be used responsibly and responsible use includes cleaning up the debris, whatever it may be.

Please spread the word so that this message reaches whoever caused this litter and anyone else contemplating setting off fireworks on The Heath. They should seek authorisation from the land owner first and ensure that all the debris is completely removed afterwards. Plastics should be avoided because of the risk of fragments being ingested by dogs and other animals.

Kevin Griffiths

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