In one of the early episodes of Mad Men I watched, in horror, as Don Draper tossed all the rubbish from a family picnic into the surrounding countryside.
Betty and the children looked on but no one said a word.
Then I realised that this was the 1960s and littering hadn’t gained the social sigma that it has now.
This was way before Keep Australia Beautiful, Bin It and Do The Right Thing campaigns. Or whatever were the US equivalents.
Most old farts my age wouldn’t dream of leaving their Fanta bottles in the park or dropping a Four’N Twenty meat pie bag on the street.
It’s the same with the X-Gens, Y-Gens and Generation Text. They were either influenced by the earlier anti litter campaigns or have been brainwashed by their peers or parents.
So why is there so much crap in my local park?
I wonder if there is a new generation, one that never got the message. This generation comes from all walks of life and is made up of all ages and genders. But there is one thing they have in common and that is they have never been influenced by the early anti litter campaigns.
Why? Because they weren’t here when the campaigns ran.
There is an entire generation of immigrant Australians who just don’t know that it’s a social no-no to leave your Subway wrapper, Domino’s Pizza box or Red Bull can on the street.
I don’t blame them, just as I didn’t blame Don Draper, they just don’t know any better.
I think it’s about time to recycle some of our old anti litter ads again.