There is a new campaign in Paris that has gotten my attention of late…mostly because I think it’s an exercise in pure futility. The posters that have gone up about the place are aimed at smokers and aim to discourage them from carelessly littering the streets with their cigarette butts and use one of the multitude of garbage bins instead.
Don’t get me wrong, I do think it’s a great idea, but I don’t believe for a second that it will work. The people they are asking to show respect for their environment are the same ones who show no respect for those around them….just try sitting on a Parisian café terrace without getting a lungful of your neighbour’s second-hand smoke. For my part, I have no issue at all if people want to poison themselves slowly – that’s their right – as long as they occasionally think of others and tidy up after themselves.
It reminds me of other recent attempts by the government to curb anti-social behaviour – the excessive urination on the streets comes to mind. Despite, the increased installation of free public toilets and the fines in place for such an action it hasn’t seemed to make an iota of difference. Indeed, there are days when it seems like you’re walking through a sewer instead of strolling along the sunny boulevards.
That being said, they did manage to fix the problem of dog droppings. Previously, one had to navigate the footpaths with great care to avoid having one’s shoes covered in excrement on a daily basis. These days, however, one can traipse about the place with nary a care. Not to say there isn’t the occasional mess lying about the place but for the most part dog owners now follow the law and clean up after their beloved pooches.
Personally, I don’t know why they haven’t all taken up e-cigarettes. Then after they get their nicotine fix they wouldn’t even need to waste any time or energy flicking their wrist to dispose of their waste…everybody wins! Oh well, one can always live in hope.