The driving law you don't know you're breaking
IS THROWING an apple core out the window of a car considered littering? If you ask the police, then it's a resounding YES.
It's littering and it's an offence. If you ask your friends down the pub, turns out there might be a range of opinions.
I was driving along in a car full of friends, when the car in front threw an apple core out the window into bush. "LITTERBUG" I yelled (like any good primary school student would).
It infuriated me. Mostly because at first, I thought it was a cigarette. When I realised it was an apple core I calmed down, slightly. Saying to my friends, "That's disgusting, don't you agree? Don't you want to write them a note to ask them to kindly keep their junk in their own trunk?"
The other three in the car met my irritation with a shrug and voiced that for them, apple cores are biodegradable. The offending item was going into bush, it didn't affect traffic or put anyone into danger. "It's compost," one said. "It's good for the earth."
It's an interesting point. Nobody wants to see rubbish lining our streets, but is there a distinction for things that will eventually degrade?
Dirty talk took on a whole new meaning - cue a heated 15 minutes in the car discussing whether some fruit can or should be thrown out the window into bush.
My point was simple, whether its biodegradable or not, why not wait till you pop home and put it in the compost? If I was travelling in a new town and drove down a road to see fruit scraps on the sides of said road I'd think a pack of grubs must live there. I want to keep Australia clean.
Not to mention that we don't need any more reasons for animals to come to the side of the road for a feed and get confused and walk on to the road. Despite what you think, its an offence. Police say no, so it's a no.
What got me the most was the thought that the car in front felt entitled to treat a shared space with such disrespect, that the bush was their rubbish bin.
Apparently, I was thinking too deeply about the whole thing. The core of the issue wasn't disrespect, it was ignorance.
My friends defended the fact that they weren't saying all food scraps could be thrown out the window. No-one is scraping their spaghetti bolognaise off a plate out the window into the bush. They were saying the odd apple core or mandarin is biodegradable, so they couldn't see the huge issue.
They also thought that the car in front was probably more ignorant than entitled: it was food, we're in nature, its biodegradable, there's no other cars on the road so it's not a huge deal.
Here's an interesting development. I asked what would happen if we had kids in the car? Would we be telling them its OK to throw an apple core out the window? The answer was a definite no, from everyone on the road trip.
We all agreed, we'd never do it in front of our kids. It sends the wrong message. So why do it at all? No more questions, your honour. Thank god we avoided that fine.
It got weird after that. I know what you're thinking, you've already banged on for 15 minutes about an apple core mate, it can't get much worse.
Suddenly, from the back seat "Why not just eat the apple CORE too, it's delicious".
Eating the WHOLE apple including the core? You're an animal.