It is hard to object to the good folks at Keep Britain Tidy. After all, their admirable goal in life is right there in the title – they want to keep Britain tidy and only a sociopath or contrarian libertarian (surely the same thing, Ed) could find fault.
But could their lobbying for a litter-free country perhaps have gone a step too far with the news that the group is about to launch 25 talking bins?
Yes, you did read that right. As part of the Love Where You Live campaign, talking rubbish bins will be installed in central London and Liverpool, promising users a twee message of congratulations when they drop off their litter or recycling.
There will also be attempts at humour, with the bins programmed to sing 'I'm singing in the bin' or 'rubbish keeps falling on my head'. And, you've guessed it, there will be a celebrity angle, with Michael Palin signed up to offer his vocal stylings and Amanda Holden promising to deliver probably her most believable performance to date.
The Sceptic Tank would never condone littering, but would surely understand if passersby chose to cling onto their rubbish for a while longer simply to avoid using any of these talking bins.
Moreover, it seems that in its efforts to stop littering, the people at Keep Britain Tidy have inadvertently created an increase in both noise pollution and electronic waste, presuming of course the bins have been fitted with a speaker and do not in fact contain a C-list celebrity. Now, that we'd like to see.
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