We gave a hoot

Littering in the United States has decreased by 61 percent in the past 40 years, according to results from the largest litter study conducted in the country.

National nonprofit Keep America Beautiful observed nearly 10,000 people in 130 locations in 10 states for the study. The findings showed that while major progress has been made since 1968, litter is still a significant problem. The study reported an average of 6,729 pieces of litter per mile on U.S. roadways. It said cigarette butts account for 38 percent of litter, that existing litter leads to more litter, and that littering costs the country about $11.5 billion per year. KAB has determined that more education and cleanups are needed, as they have contributed to the decrease in littering; that more receptacles help deter littering; and that more recycling and funding for litter prevention is needed. Read it at www.kab.org/research09.