National Litter Index 2015/16: How are we doing, Australia?

Litter is trending down across Australia – but there are still serious problem areas that need addressing country-wide in the fight against rubbish.

According to the Keep Australia Beautiful National Litter Index 2015/16 results, which counts litter at 983 sites across all States and Territories, litter across the country has reduced by 9.1%.

This is the second concurrent year of litter reduction.

Cigarette butts, beverage containers and takeaway food packaging, which represents two-thirds (67%) of all litter counted across the country, have reduced on a consolidated basis.

But cigarette butts remain a disproportionate percentage of all litter counted in Australia – 45 – 48% of all litter on the ground are butts – followed by takeaway food packaging.

Highways, industrial and car parks sites contribute to the highest proportion of litter, due to the mobile, ‘throw away’ consumer, and uncovered and insecure vehicle loads.

The 9.1% reduction in littered items counted also resulted in an 8.6% reduction in the volume of litter found Australia-wide (excluding illegal dumping). While there were volumetric reductions across all categories, the single biggest contributor was the reduction in “general other litter”.

Less litter was found across all site types, with the exception of retail precincts, which increased by 0.5%,

The greatest reduction was seen on major roads/highways (?13.9%), industrial precincts (?11.4%) and shopping centres (?10.6%). Litter on beaches fell by 20.3% but from a lower base.

Queensland and Victoria made the biggest contributions to the reduction in littered items, while litter levels increased in South Australia and Western Australia.

For more information on state-specific statistics, and case studies about specific litter challenges and impacts in the high-concern areas of Plastic Bags, Beverage Containers, and Cigarette Butts, read the report here.

For more information on the National Litter Index, contact us.

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The KABNA 2015 – 2016 National Litter Index is partnered by APC

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