Not to offend anybody, but I think it is just a cultural thing that has developed amongst city residents, where they don't care or are too absorbed to take responsibility for cleaning up after themselves. I always associated them with yuppies, after meeting a few at crags i.e. read article in Menshealth subscription about climbing-go out and buy shiny new gadgets and go climb.
I don't want to generalise, many city climbers who have been at it for years appreciate the outdoors but its just an observation.
I can't claim to be any great dinosour in the climbing world, but in the past five years or so I've been climbing, the 'Menshealth' trend has been on a dramatic rise. I started climbing at Strubens and the Chosspile, and by the time I moved to Cape Town two years later there was already a vast increase in the human traffic with shiny new toys to be seen at the two crags.
I think the solution would lie in ourselves ... we that have mucho respecto for the mountain and crag environment. To blame and complain online, after leaving a littered crag, isn't going to do much good. It's much the same as arriving home after leaving a puppy inside all day, and beating it senseless for having planted a bowel flower on your favourite persian rug. He's never been taught that it's a big no no!
Take this situation into the mountains, where loads of city dwelling generation x-ers are just starting to take there first steps in learning about loving, and giving back to, the natural environment. Now you have a whole crew of happy campers who have never had to dig a toilet, shove stompies back in their pockets, or take their other litter away with them. Virgin Active has rubbish bins and flush loo's in each branch, so these folks are probably expecting something similar in the now-trendy sport called climbing. They don't know much about the environment, nor their effects on it, in the first place, so it's a little unfair for us to immediately expect it of them.
It is up to us to teach, and lead by example. No-one else is going to. So, the next time we see someone messing up our crags, let's try have friendly word with the culprit and offer some free education on envrionmental etiquette. Now some people may not take a liking to being educated, or in his eyes humiliated, and may perhaps get a little upset or violent. For this reason, always carry a big hex. My number 8 is called The Headmaster!