Littering increase due to cigarette butts and packaging

  • Cigarette butts and packaging responsible for more than a third of litter
  • Government campaign to tackle cigarette butts from early 2019

A campaign targeting littered cigarette butts will be rolled out across the State early next year.

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson has announced the campaign following the release of Keep Australia Beautiful WA’s National Litter Index (NLI) – showing discarded butts were responsible for pushing up the State’s litter statistics.

The 2017-18 NLI reported Western Australia’s litter figures were up on last year with a 21.9 per cent rise in cigarette butt litter – the main contributor. Cigarette butts and packaging accounted for 3,376 of the 9,550 litter items recorded – more than a third of the total count.

While 2017-18 results showed a marginal increase of 2.6 per cent across the State compared to 2016-17 results, overall littering was still 21 per cent lower than that recorded in 2015-16.

The NLI is measured twice each financial year in every State and Territory in Australia.

In WA, it measures littering across 151 sites within 50 kilometres of the Perth central business district including highways, beaches, retail and shopping areas, car parks, recreational parks, and residential and industrial areas.

The most significant decreases for littering were takeaway packaging – down 11.3 per cent – and beverage containers which were down by seven per cent.

To call out litterers and to help make a difference, sign up to become a Litter Reporter here.

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