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View Poll Results: Is throwing a message in a glass bottle overboard littering?
Yes, it's litter. 22 27.85%
No, it's not litter. 57 72.15%
Voters: 79. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 14-08-2014, 18:03   #46
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Re: Message In A Bottle: Litter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by IslandHopper View Post
Spread joy, quote from the link: "When the team got closer to the bottle, Crossman said she was filled with “excitement and disbelief” upon realizing it did actually contain a letter."

Or call it litter
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Old 14-08-2014, 18:04   #47
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Re: Message In A Bottle: Litter?

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Originally Posted by handmer View Post
Litter is an improperly disposed of waste product. An empty bottle is a waste product.

A message in a bottle is an item specifically created to carry a message via the ocean. It's has been put overboard for a specific purpose. While it is doing what it was made to do, it is not litter as it is not a waste product. It's an item with a specific purpose.

Once the purpose is achieved or not longer possible, such as if the bottle is found or if it breaks, then it becomes an improperly disposed of waste product and is litter.


What makes it litter or not is the purpose behind an items creation.



There is a separate issue of whether the creation of a message in a bottle is worth the risk that it could harm the environment, animals or people. There is also the risk that it could become litter.


But whether or not it is worth the risks to create and launch a message in a bottle, it is not litter while it is performing that task.

Rationalize it how ever you want, it's litter.
There were many people killed by the mob to send a message. Was that a crime? Now I'm confused.:-)
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Old 14-08-2014, 19:03   #48
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Re: Message In A Bottle: Litter?

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Rationalize it how ever you want, it's litter.
There were many people killed by the mob to send a message. Was that a crime? Now I'm confused.:-)
It's not about rationalising it (or about the mob funnily enough). It's about about focusing on the actual issue here and considering what litter really is. Condemning a message in a bottle as litter, or ignoring the risks by deciding it is not litter is missing the point IMO.


I love the idea of a message in a bottle, but personally I would not throw a glass bottle overboard (message containing or not) as I think the risk of hurting an animal or person is high enough not to be worth it.


And that is what the issue is really about. Is your purposeful action to create a message in a bottle worth the risk to others? It's a moral choice. If we frame it just as litter, or not litter, as opposed to creating an item with a specific purpose, then we are just avoiding the real moral issue that needs to be considered.


Not to mention, it's technically correct to say it's not litter. It's not a waste product. It's a created item with a specific purpose. If we don't stick to what words actually mean then different people will be discussing different things. No one wants that on the internet! (too late)
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Old 14-08-2014, 19:37   #49
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Re: Message In A Bottle: Litter?

I think for anyone to believe that those bottles are litter then they haven't any sense of wonder or adventure left in them.... And isn't that really what we're all about as sailors and cruisers....
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Old 14-08-2014, 19:42   #50
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Re: Message In A Bottle: Litter?

I am all for the wonder. But at what level of risk of hurting people and animals is an acceptable trade off for wonder?

Litter or not, there are consequences that need to be considered. Maybe the risks are low. Maybe not. The problem is that it's easy to be completely separate from the risks and not consider them at all.
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Old 14-08-2014, 19:46   #51
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Re: Message In A Bottle: Litter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by handmer View Post
It's not about rationalising it (or about the mob funnily enough). It's about about focusing on the actual issue here and considering what litter really is. Condemning a message in a bottle as litter, or ignoring the risks by deciding it is not litter is missing the point IMO.





I love the idea of a message in a bottle, but personally I would not throw a glass bottle overboard (message containing or not) as I think the risk of hurting an animal or person is high enough not to be worth it.





And that is what the issue is really about. Is your purposeful action to create a message in a bottle worth the risk to others? It's a moral choice. If we frame it just as litter, or not litter, as opposed to creating an item with a specific purpose, then we are just avoiding the real moral issue that needs to be considered.





Not to mention, it's technically correct to say it's not litter. It's not a waste product. It's a created item with a specific purpose. If we don't stick to what words actually mean then different people will be discussing different things. No one wants that on the internet! (too late)

The reason we have laws, courts and judges is to have rules. Let's face it, if we left everything up to a persons moral decision this world would be a mess. Until they make it legal to throw a bottle with a message in it into the water it will remain legally littering and against the law, unless of course you can convince a judge otherwise.
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Old 14-08-2014, 19:50   #52
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Re: Message In A Bottle: Litter?

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Originally Posted by 7yrsorless View Post
I think for anyone to believe that those bottles are litter then they haven't any sense of wonder or adventure left in them.... And isn't that really what we're all about as sailors and cruisers....

Most the sailors and cruisers I see nowadays have wifi antennas hanging of their rigging. Maybe a lot of the wonder and adventure is gone, or maybe it's changed?
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Old 14-08-2014, 20:12   #53
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Re: Message In A Bottle: Litter?

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The reason we have laws, courts and judges is to have rules. Let's face it, if we left everything up to a persons moral decision this world would be a mess. Until they make it legal to throw a bottle with a message in it into the water it will remain legally littering and against the law, unless of course you can convince a judge otherwise.
What law says that it is illegal to release a message in a bottle?


A message in a bottle is an object specifically created for a purpose. It's not a waste product. It's not refuse. It's not litter. It's not rubbish.

It's an item with a specific purpose. There are plenty of laws against creating various items with a specific purpose. But I can't find any that say it is illegal to release a message in a bottle.

Maybe there is one. But failing that, is there a law that says that a message in a bottle is legally littering?


I think that a message in a bottle has a high chance of becoming litter. And that is something people need to consider and perhaps be punished for. But as a message in a bottle it is not litter.
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Old 14-08-2014, 20:28   #54
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Re: Message In A Bottle: Litter?

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Originally Posted by handmer View Post
What law says that it is illegal to release a message in a bottle?


A message in a bottle is an object specifically created for a purpose. It's not a waste product. It's not refuse. It's not litter. It's not rubbish.

It's an item with a specific purpose. There are plenty of laws against creating various items with a specific purpose. But I can't find any that say it is illegal to release a message in a bottle.

Maybe there is one. But failing that, is there a law that says that a message in a bottle is legally littering?


I think that a message in a bottle has a high chance of becoming litter. And that is something people need to consider and perhaps be punished for. But as a message in a bottle it is not litter.
So if I threw 10,000 foam cups in the ocean with messages written on them, would that be considered littering?
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Old 14-08-2014, 20:39   #55
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Re: Message In A Bottle: Litter?

I wonder if there are any specific", laws that say it's illegal to rob a store ... a bank ... or even a person.

I doubt there are any laws that "specifically", says it's illegal to drop used Huggies on the ground.

I doubt there are any "specific", laws that say it's illegal to take a craap on the sidewalk ... although other indecency laws might come into play.
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Old 14-08-2014, 20:55   #56
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Re: Message In A Bottle: Litter?

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Originally Posted by smj View Post
So if I threw 10,000 foam cups in the ocean with messages written on them, would that be considered littering?
By definition is it not a waste product improperly disposed off. I imagine that sort of scenario might be covered under pollution (as might an actual message in a bottle) but I don't know the laws in question. It seems likely to rapidly create a lot of litter though which I certainly don't support.

So you stated that a message in a bottle is legally littering. Can you back that statement up with any facts, or not?

Please don't mistake my defending the definition of littering (or not) as an admission that I support releasing a message in a bottle. There are real issues here that are worthy of discussion, but stating laws and legality without any supporting evidence doesn't actually address those issues.
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Old 14-08-2014, 21:07   #57
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Re: Message In A Bottle: Litter?

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Originally Posted by handmer View Post
By definition is it not a waste product improperly disposed off. I imagine that sort of scenario might be covered under pollution (as might an actual message in a bottle) but I don't know the laws in question. It seems likely to rapidly create a lot of litter though which I certainly don't support.

So you stated that a message in a bottle is legally littering. Can you back that statement up with any facts, or not?

Please don't mistake my defending the definition of littering (or not) as an admission that I support releasing a message in a bottle. There are real issues here that are worthy of discussion, but stating laws and legality without any supporting evidence doesn't actually address those issues.
I believe it's legally littering when you throw a bottle in the water. And I believe it's legally littering when you throw paper in the water. So throwing paper that's in a bottle in the water?
I believe we've both made our points. Now it's up to you to get caught by the authorities throwing the message in the bottle in the water, and later report back to let us know how the judge ruled.
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Old 14-08-2014, 21:17   #58
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Re: Message In A Bottle: Litter?

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I wonder if there are any specific", laws that say it's illegal to rob a store ... a bank ... or even a person.

I doubt there are any laws that "specifically", says it's illegal to drop used Huggies on the ground.

I doubt there are any "specific", laws that say it's illegal to take a craap on the sidewalk ... although other indecency laws might come into play.

I am not suggesting that a lack of a specific law is a reason why you should or could do something. In the case of the message in a bottle, smj specifically said that it was legally littering - if so I would like to see that law. I can't find one and I think it would be more reasonable that a judgement call by the legal system would need to be made on whether or not to charge you for littering, rather than there being a specific law against messages in a bottle. But I don't know and I am happy to be proven wrong.


The law is pretty comprehensive but won't cover everything. But laws can still cover a range of actual actions. A quick Google shows laws (in the US at least) that cover robbery, defecating in public and dumping and or littering. Any of the actions above could be covered by these laws.


That said, if you have a specific non littering reason to leave your huggy on the ground, then by definition it is not littering. Whether or not that would work as a defence and if you will get charged with littering anyway is a different story. I would think your chances are slim.
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Old 14-08-2014, 21:29   #59
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Re: Message In A Bottle: Litter?

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I believe it's legally littering when you throw a bottle in the water. And I believe it's legally littering when you throw paper in the water. So throwing paper that's in a bottle in the water?
I believe we've both made our points. Now it's up to you to get caught by the authorities throwing the message in the bottle in the water, and later report back to let us know how the judge ruled.
You are free to believe whatever you would like, but that doesn't change the current definition of what littering is. Maybe that definition needs to change, but to address the actual issues at hand, a discussion needs to use a common definition.

You seem to have missed that I already stated I would not throw a glass bottle overboard (message containing or not) as I think the risk of hurting an animal or person is high enough not to be worth it.

What a judge would (or should) rule would be a separate, case by case issue.

That said, I would launch a message in a bottle if I could create one that would not create a risk for the environment, people or animals.
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Old 14-08-2014, 21:45   #60
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Re: Message In A Bottle: Litter?

I remember now why I wanted a poll with no discussion. :bang head:

Why don't you all shut up and vote?
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