In a new emerging addiction trend in the United Kingdom, teens are burning plastic trash bins to inhale the fumes and get high.
The police have in recent weeks come across many extremely dangerous incidents in the Greater Manchester area, according to The Mirror, and have issued a warning.
Charities working on anti-solvent abuse told the media outlet that the new drug craze of inhaling fumes from these burning bins could be more dangerous than sniffing glue or petrol.
“Longsight Park has been subject to massive damage recently as a result of wheelie bins being set on fire in the middle of the children’s play area,” said a spokesperson of the Great Manchester Police (GMP), according to The Mirror.
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) February 21, 2019
He emphasized that such a damaging trend has a widespread impact on communities and “renders public spaces unusable.”
“Intelligence from Greater Manchester fire and rescue suggests that wheelie bins are being set on fire and fumes from the bins are inhaled.
“Both GMP and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service have received several reports of bins being set on fire in recent weeks.
“This is extremely dangerous as the fumes from the plastic are highly toxic,” the GMP spokesperson said.
The police have advised households to keep their trash cans out of public sight and to not place them outside unnecessarily.
Their parents must be so proud! What is wrong with people these days??? #UK police warn against new teen trend of burning #plastic trash cans, inhaling fumeshttps://t.co/LPfIWM1fnI pic.twitter.com/BAy7cwPvzO
— Skip Hire & Waste Magazine (@SkipHireMag) February 27, 2019
Bizarre Drug Craze: Incidents From the Past
Such bizarre incidents were also reported in South Yorkshire in 2007 and seem to have made a comeback in recent months.
In a BBC South Yorkshire report in 2007, then director of anti-solvent abuse charity Re-Solv, Warren Hawksley, shared how people in Scotland burned bus shelters to get the same effect.
“It’s a deadly combination. They can be breathing in a whole compound of different chemicals in the plastic and not have a clue about what they actually are, or what they’re doing to them.
“At least with things like petrol the lead’s been taken out of most of it, and there are controls in place to stop abuse of other substances.
— Trends Zone (@Trends_Zone) March 22, 2017
“It’s worrying that these incidents seem to be spreading too,” he told BBC.
The Scotsman reported youth burning plastic trash cans and plastic sheeting on bus shelters to inhale fumes to get high back in 2002.
“There’s dinner plate-sized holes in bus shelters all over the place. It’s not purely for vandalism because the kids behind it are not setting fire to the whole thing. All they are doing is burning small holes with cigarette lighters and then sticking their nose in it to inhale the reek,” Duncan MacLean, who represented Armadale on West Lothian Council told the Scotsman at the time.
“If the kids can’t get away with it at the bus shelter, they are lifting people’s wheelie bins and taking them to the woods for the same sort of thing. There’s bins being found with small holes burnt all over them.
“I don’t know if it’s because shops are clamping down on selling glue that they are resorting to this sort of thing, but it’s a very worrying trend,” he said.