When is a litter lout not a litter lout? In the theatre

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After a recent visit to The Crucible to see the brilliant production of Oliver!, I was once again surprised to see the vast amount of litter left under the seats at the end of the evening.

I wonder why littering in theatres seems to be an accepted norm. When I ask others to remove their litter, my request is met with indignation.

For some reason leaving rubbish on the floor of the theatre is not considered littering as it has been ‘placed’ rather than thrown down. At the end of each performance Sheffield Theatre staff stand at each exit with black bin bags ready to collect the rubbish, so why don’t theatre-goers walk out with their litter and place it in the bags held there for them? Rubbish placed carefully under a bench in the Peace Gardens would be classed as litter and subject to a £50 fine. How do we teach our children the difference?

Perhaps in the New Year the management of the Sheffield Theatres could lead the way in reversing this trend through a simple public announcement at the end of a performance asking people to put their litter in the bin bags outside.

This would save the staff the back-breaking job of picking up rubbish along each row and reduce the cost of cleaning up so the money could be spent more effectively keeping the theatres open in these financially challenging times.

Bridget Ingle

Love Wincobank Campaign