Litter turns tide after ten years

KAB-white-background-for-webMEDIA RELEASE
7 October 2015




Australians are cleaning up their act with new research revealing an average of 35 per cent less litter than a decade ago.

Victoria is leading the clean-up charge with a 65 per cent reduction in rubbish between 2005 and 2015, according to the latest Keep Australia Beautiful (KAB) National Litter Index[i].

“This is a fantastic effort and shows that environmental awareness and public education campaigns about the cost and harm caused by litter are hitting the mark on the whole,” said KAB Chair Rob Thomas.

“However, there is clearly still more work to be done.’’

Tasmania was the only state to record an increase in litter with a 24 per cent rise in rubbish across the island state since 2005. This compared with a 35 per cent average reduction nationally.

Mr Thomas said the Index also highlighted two litter hotspots for 2014/2015 which are tracking above the national average of 49 items of litter per 1000m2.

“Northern Territory’s average is 62 items of litter per 1000m2 and Tasmania’s is 73 items per 1000m2,”he said.

Mr Thomas also said specific places in every state and territory were being used as dumpsites.

“For instance, industrial sites – the area between the fence and the gutter – recorded the largest volume of litter when compared with beaches, parks, shopping centres and other sites surveyed,” he said.

“Retail strips – from shopfronts to the gutter – and along the sides of highways are also highly littered.’’

The Index findings followed new KAB research into Australians’ attitudes to litter which found more than 94 per cent of people are upset by seeing litter in their community[ii].

“Despite this, only one-third of Australians said they always or often picked up litter when they saw it,’’ Mr Thomas said.

“There’s clearly a disconnection between what they think about litter and how they actually behave.

“If we can match people’s thoughts with their actions when it comes to keeping our country clean and beautiful, we should continue to see a downward trend in litter.’’




NATIONAL 70 49 -35%
VIC 71 25 -65%
ACT *68 37 -46%
NSW 79 48 -39%
SA 60 45 -25%
QLD 89 68 -24%
WA 60 50 -17%
NT *64 62 -3%
TAS 59 73 +24%
  • Earliest available annual figures in 2006/07


Find the full Keep Australia Beautiful National Litter Index 2014/15 at


MEDIA CONTACT:  Lachlan Clark, Sequel PR, 3251 8139, 0434 313 066

[i] MacGregor Tan Research (July 2015). National Litter Index Annual Report 2014/15 Keep Australia Beautiful.

[ii] Litter in Australia: Sentiment and Trends Study 2015, McCrindle Research Pty Ltd

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