What If a Mini Street-Cleaning Team Picked Up the Litter at Your Feet?

The 'Tiny Worlds' project puts a fantasy spin on cleaning up sidewalk trash.
Apr 16, 2014· 0 MIN READ
Culture and education editor Liz Dwyer has written about race, parenting, and social justice for several national publications. She was previously education editor at Good.

Each day the average American creates three pounds of trash, but not all of the waste we produce is carted away to landfills, let alone recycling centers. Sidewalks are often littered with food wrappers, bottle caps, matches, cigarette butts, and blobs of chewing gum. "Tiny Worlds," a short video project from the team at U.K.-based visual effects company Rushes, gives us a funny and fantastical look at how a mini cleanup crew might handle all that detritus.

Each of the three clips in the video features a different scenario, and even though littering is a serious issue, the segments are designed to make you chuckle. In one, a mini submarine emerges from a puddle of water and launches a torpedo at a floating cigarette butt. In another, a tiny bulldozer that attempts to scoop up bubblegum from a London street gets into a sticky situation.

Of course, in real life much of the trash on our streets ends up being swept into storm drains and then into our water supply—hello, Pacific Garbage Patch—which in turn harms wildlife. Ideally, people would stop littering, but in the meantime, we can imagine how tiny cleanup crews might help.