The Silly Season is not a License to Litter
Australians are reminded to keep Australia beautiful this silly season as our country faces its biggest litter onslaught of the year.
With the Keep Australia Beautiful National Litter Index paying close attention to our national tally through December, each state has the opportunity to retrieve – or trash – its reputation in Australia’s waste stakes.
Keep Australia Beautiful Chairman Rob Thomas said Christmas and New Year’s Eve were traditionally Australia’s biggest litter days with millions of tonnes of extra rubbish hitting the nation’s streets, parks and beaches.
“We expect the amount of litter across the country will reach an all time peak this week with the main culprits being cigarette butts, empty food containers and water bottles,” Mr Thomas said.
“We all have to take personal responsibility for our behaviour. This time of the year isn’t a ‘License to Litter’.
“Let’s work together to make sure all that glitters is not litter this New Year’s Eve.
“Think twice before you leave your party blowers and food scraps on the beach. Littering is a deliberate wilful act. It’s another form of vandalism.”
The increase in litter is attributable to a surge of outdoor activities and the predictable increase in rubbish which comes with the holidays, especially New Year’s Eve.
Mr Thomas said now was the perfect time for Australians to make the extra effort to clean up.
According to the most recent Keep Australia Beautiful National Litter Index based on items per 1,000 square metres, Victoria is the tidiest when it comes to litter. Queensland is currently the second worst, marginally in front of Tasmania in last place.
The national average is 56 items and below is a list of how the states ranked in the 2012/2013 Keep Australia Beautiful National Litter Index, per 1000m2.
1. Victoria – 30 items
2. Northern Territory – 51 items
3. ACT – 55 items
4. South Australia – 53 items
5. New South Wales – 61 items
6. Western Australia – 63 items
7. Queensland – 68 items
8. Tasmania – 83 items
Mr Thomas also urged holidaymakers not to give their conscientious domestic recycling habits a vacation too, especially when out camping or at rental accommodation.
“Familiarise yourself with the nearest domestic and public rubbish bins and recycle where possible. If camping, pick the rubbish up and take it with you,” he said.
Keep Australia Beautiful has also released a ‘Yuletide Guide’ when it comes to cleaning up after Christmas and New Year.
THE YULETIDE GUIDE
- Put bottles and cans empty and loose in the recycle bin, not bagged or boxed.
- Recycle wrapping and cards.
- Only recycle appropriate items. (No cellophane, tinsel, decorations, broken glasses or crockery)
- Put cigarette butts in an appropriate container and throw in the rubbish.
- You can’t recycle plastic shopping bags in your domestic bin. Reuse them as car rubbish bags when travelling.
- Shopping trolleys belong at supermarkets.
- 30% of household waste can be composted. Don’t throw leftover Christmas fruit vegie peelings in the rubbish. Compost it.
- Don’t throw cooking oil down the sink. Wrap and put in with the rubbish.
- Limit olfactory pollution. As a courtesy to your neighbours wrap the prawn scraps and freeze them until the next rubbish collection, this way won’t attract vermin either.
- Polystyrene is recyclable in some places. Check with your local council.
- Batteries are toxic for landfill, save them for council chemical waste collection or other safe deposit locations.
Chris Reid, Sequel Communications: 07 3251 8131 / 0403 090 914
Karin Wong, Sequel Communications: 07 3251 8144 / 0418 278 029
About Keep Australia Beautiful
Keep Australia Beautiful is the national peak body on litter prevention. With over four decades of experience in engaging Australians to care for their local environments, (not to be confused with the organisation Clean Up Australia Day) KAB Programs include Sustainable Cities, Tidy Towns, Clean Beaches, National Litter Index, The LITTLE Committee, National Bin Network and Keep Australia Beautiful Week in August.
The KAB National website is kab.org.au where all information on the organisation can be accessed including the National Litter Index which is Australia’s only independent nation-wide litter research.