First I need to say that when doing sophisticated empirical research one has to pay attention to the size of the sample. The 42 cans I found by the side of Asby Road during the annual springtime trash pick-up is 66% as many as I found last year. The plastic bottle count (7) is 58% of last year’s. And the glass bottles (11) only 38% of last year’s haul.
Does this mean there was less littering this winter, and if so, what would account for the change? Or perhaps it means one of my neighbors (I suspect Phyllis or Greg) beat me to the discards. Maybe there were some cans and bottles hidden in the crusts of snow that still clung to the shaded north side of the road.
In any case, Bud Light still carries a significant lead in both the can and glass bottle categories with 33% of the cans and 73% of the bottles. The Anheuser Busch family of beer again displayed a stellar performance in overall litter with 57% of all cans and 82% of bottles.
|Other Anheuser Bush||11||3|
|Other Anheuser Busch||2|
|Total Glass Bottles||29||11|
It’s hard to draw conclusions. While the % of Bud Light cans dropped, the % of Bud Light bottles went up. Does this indicate that those who drink Bud Light in bottles are becoming more likely to litter? Of does the drop in total litter indicate a rise in conscientiousness among beer drinkers? And what are we to make of this year’s impressive showings for Coors Light and Twisted Tea? Will these brands threaten Bud Light in future years?
And as asked following last year’s census, are we measuring the beer-drinking habits of litterers or the littering habits of beer-drinkers? We’re sure someone in Anheuser Busch’s marketing department has the answer, but we have yet to hear from them.
A few words about other litter are in order. As usual, we picked up some plastic bottles. This year we also found five 1-quart paint cans. Any theories out there?