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Growing cotton and the litter it creates on our streets

Updated on May 22, 2012
Truck showing how it blows of and litters the roads
Truck showing how it blows of and litters the roads
Roadside muriel painting of cotton harvest
Roadside muriel painting of cotton harvest

You hear and see so much about the litter left on our roads as you drive through our beautiful countryside.   But is any responsibility taken against the way cotton growers and the transportation of it is allowed to litter the sides of the roadside.


I was shocked, when I first saw it as I drove through Dirranbandi and through St George.  At first I wondered what had happened when all this snowlike stuff appeared on the sides of the road, then I realised that it was cotton and naturally thought a truck had ripped a tarp or similar and allowed the wind to blow it everywhere.


The further we travelled the more we saw.  Therefore I asked several other travellers about it when we stopped at a caravan park in St George. They all enlightened me to the fact that it was a normal occurrence. 


Although maybe something is being done as the next day I did notice a truck trailer loaded with cotton sitting on the side of the road without its prime mover.  I was later told that the cops had pulled it up because of the cotton falling from it.   

one of several pictures we took of roadside litter
one of several pictures we took of roadside litter

Wouldn’t prevention be better than police intervention?

We asked how the cotton was picked and packed for transport and discovered that it is packed tight into wire like crates, and covered with tarps on the trailers. Therefore there is eventually nothing to stop the continual wind from blowing it out onto the roads when being transported.

Why can’t it be bagged, or crated into similar containers like any other products being transported. Therefore avoiding this unnecessary environmental pollution and eye saw on our lovely countryside.

South Australia has always given a refund on cans and bottles to lessen this problem. It also creates an income for many people who pick them up around towns and on our streets. Other states are also giving money for can returns now too.

Come on cotton growers, you are using a lot of our precious water to grow this cotton so how about cleaning up your act. Do the right thing.

Cotton also growing on the roadsides

In many areas we have seen the cotton literally growing on many of the roadsides. Whether its from cotton blown from the trucks carting or seeds blown from growers properties, I do not know.


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    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 9 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      cgull8m, yes it is not just cotton . litter is a problem all over the world.

      Beats me, you could be right there but when you see it all over the road it makes you wonder, especially as you can see that it is hanging out of the truck before it even takes off. thanks.

    • BeatsMe profile image

      BeatsMe 9 years ago

      Sometimes, maybe they're just being irresponsible, but sometimes, maybe they just lack manpower. Growing cotton is messy and keeping them together might just be a lot of hard work for cotton growers.

    • cgull8m profile image

      cgull8m 9 years ago from North Carolina

      Sad, they litter the streets like that, here we see all sorts of trash on the side roads. People have become irresponsible.