SEEING RED: It's time to set the crows on the cigarette litter louts

I have never been a fan of smoking.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 12th October 2017, 1:28 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th October 2017, 1:32 pm

It’s just never appealed to me.

Each to their own and all that, but the appeal of inhaling a substance which can seriously do harm to your lungs is as attractive as a fortnight’s holiday in Rhyl or Cleethorpes.

But one other area of smoking which leaves me seeing red – aside from inhaling smoke passively – is folk who just cast away their cigarette ends without a care in the world.

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I especially hate it when I follow a car and its driver throws the stub of their fag out of the window.

There is simply no excuse for this and it’s no better than dropping a sweet wrapper or crisp packet in the street.

Apparently, three quarters of filters from the six trillion cigarettes smoked each year end up in the environment – amounting to 750,000 tonnes of butts which take up to 10 years to decompose.

And with fines seemingly not a deterrent to stop these smoking litter louts from harming our environment, there seems little chance of changing people’s habits.

However, Dutch industrial designers have now come up with a plan which may not stop folk from dropping their cigarettes in the street, but go some way to clearing up the mess they continue to create.

The pioneering plan involves training crows to pick up the stubs in return for food.

Yes, that’s right, crows.

I’m no expert when it comes to birds, but I am told crows are highly intelligent and researchers have already trained some to operate vending machines.

However,I have an alternative solution – and it’s a controversial one too.

For instead of training the crows to pick up butt ends, why don’t they instead teach the birds to attack the litter bugs.

Perhaps that will drive home the message to those who fail to dispose of their fags properly.

n This week saw round five of Brexit negotiations between Britain and the European Union.

It really is like a boxing match.

Nowadays, many of the bigger fights are broadcast on pay-per-view channels.

Perhaps Brexit news reports should be aired via a similar platform, so I can watch the latest goings on in the world ignorant to the blows being exchanged between London and Brussels.

n Scotland manager Gordon Strachan puts his side’s failure to qualify for the World Cup on the genetics of the tartan nation.

In other words, he says Scottish footballers are too small.

I’m afraid it has nothing to do with size Gordon, but more a case of you managing a side which is simply not good enough.

n I bought a national newspaper on Monday which carried the headline “What’s it like to live in space,” by Tim Peake.

I tell you what, with this country in the mess it’s in, political instability worldwide and living in a state of heightened terror, the thought of moving to a galaxy far, far away is more appealing than ever before.

Beam me up, Scotty.