The number of people in Qatar ticketed for throwing garbage in public areas has dropped from 201 last year to 120 this year – a sign that residents are becoming more aware of the harmful effects of littering, one Ministry of Environment official said.
But some residents are doubtful that a true change of heart has taken place, the Peninsula reports. Swedish expat and regular beach-goer Linda, for example, told the newspaper that she often cleans up trash others leave behind.
“It is very sad how such wonderful scenery is not taken care of by users. My daughter found a piece of glass while playing in the sand the other day, she could have cut herself,” she said.
Indeed, despite the steep QR500 fine for littering, rogue cigarette butts, candy wrappers and plastic bags are often seen sprinkled around heavily trafficked public spaces, including beaches, parks and the Corniche.
Meanwhile, the Qatar-based Friends of the Environment Centre has adopted a different strategy to reduce littering here – working to teach children to appreciate and connect with the environment.
The hope is to affect the behavior of the future generation and also to help kids take the going-green message home to their parents, chairman Dr. Saif al-Hajari recently said in an article on the COP18 site.
“We believe something is changing,” he said.
What do you think?
Credit: Photo by Fatma Al Nasr