A banana is biodegradable and grows on trees, so can you legally toss banana peels on the ground?
Many would certainly think so…
…but many would be wrong!
What is litter?
I suppose it all comes down to how you define the word “litter”. Is a banana peel, which is essentially a piece of food, considered trash?
Vocabulary.com defines litter as:
“rubbish carelessly dropped or left about (especially in public places)”
Well what is considered rubbish? I guess a banana peel carelessly thrown out of a car window would qualify.
Regardless of what you or even a dictionary might think it is or isn’t, it really only matters what the law says.
According to uslegal.com, many local laws might read something like this:
“Litter – any solid or liquid material or product or combination of solid or liquid materials or products, including, but not limited to:
- any rubbish, refuse, garbage, paper, package, container, bottle, can, manure, or sewage or the whole or a part of an animal carcass or
- the whole or part of any article, raw or processed material, Motor Vehicle or other machinery, that is disposed of; or
- any other material or product that is designated as litter in the Alberta Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, as amended and the Regulations thereunder.”
So if you’re dead-set on throwing banana peels out the window in your car then I’d check with your local laws and see if they are worded similarly. If they are then I’d hold onto to the banana peel.
But is it really worth your time? Just hang onto the banana peel or apple core, or whatever piece of fruit or food and toss it in the proper receptacle when you get to where you’re going.
So can I throw the banana peel out the window then?
By the above definition of the word litter, throwing a banana peel out the window would be considered littering and therefore illegal.
I guess with a semi gray area like this it might be up to the officer’s discretion, but I wouldn’t chance it. Just hold onto your banana peel until you can throw it in the trash can or compost.