There are several steps any individual can take to prevent littering. These include: carrying litter bags, passing out litter bags, always picking up litter and pet waste, and finding an acceptable place to discard cigarette butts before lighting a cigarette outdoors. These strategies can be practiced by anyone. Sixty-eight-year-old farmer, Michael Barr’s method for preventing his neighbours’ littering is more difficult to replicate, but it has attracted significant attention.
Barr, who has a winter wheat field on his property on the south side of Columbus, Ohio, was frustrated by his neighbors’ littering in his field and on the nearby road. Wishing to address their littering in a way that was both playful and effective. First, Barr placed wooden signposts in his field. The signs read: BEWARE: SHARK CROSSING, HOME OF THE BREAD SHARK, and DON’T FEED THE SHARKS: KEEP YOUR HANDS AND TRASH INSIDE YOUR CAR. Then he created the bread shark itself. Barr cut several pieces of foam into the shape of sharks’ dorsal fins and painted all of them black. He put the dorsal fins in various places in his wheat fields, making it look as though the sharks were cruising the rippling “waves” of his wheat fields.
Barr says he can’t verify whether his display discouraged local litterers, but it certainly attracted visitors. Neighbors and travelers stopped to take photos of the Bread Sharks and share them on social media. Allen Petzinger, sixty-eight, was helping to restore the house on Barr’s property in late May of 2019, when Barr created the Bread Sharks. Petzinger said passengers and pedestrians stopped on the road to take photos of the display every day after it went up.
Barr took down the display after he harvested his winter wheat. However, given the Bread Sharks’ popularity, he has already decided to make a display in his wheat field next year. According to Barr, display possibilities include the Pacific Life whale, the trademark for the Pacific Life Insurance Company in California, or Ireland’s Loch Ness Monster. Barr may not know what he will make yet, but the decision to make a display for next year is an easy one. “I think [the display has] made a lot of people smile, Barr tells, The Columbus Dispatch[H/T OHIO.com]