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Tasmania's litter rates not acceptable

The Minister for Environment Brian Wightman said today that Tasmanians need to do better when it comes to littering.

Results published today from the most recent Keep Australia Beautiful National Litter Index show Tasmania recorded the nation’s highest rate of littering (per 1000 square metres) in Australia.

The index found that cigarette butts were the most frequently identified item across all sites in Tasmania, comprising over 62 percent of items littered.

Plastic materials contributed the largest amount of volume to the litter stream, with paper and paperboard objects coming in second. Mr Wightman said the overall result was disappointing.

“The State Government is committed to reducing littering in Tasmania, and has done a number of things over the past few years to help with this goal.

“In early 2008 we developed new litter laws and introduced a Litter Hotline and reporting system.

“We’ve also carried out a number of educational programs and since the establishment of the Litter Hotline, over 3,900 litter reports have been received, resulting in prosecutions in the form of 2,162 infringement notices and 151 written warnings,” he said.

Mr Wightman said that the Government has been working hard at the national level to look at options for dealing with packaging waste and litter, such as container deposit systems, and provided funding in the recent State Budget to investigate a state-based CDS.

“But at the end of the day it comes down to people’s behaviour.

“I note that the most littered sites surveyed within Tasmania were generally retail and industrial sites and industrial locations were also associated with the largest volume of litter,” he said.

Mr Wightman said the take home message was for all Tasmanians to put their rubbish in the bin or take their litter home.

Members of the public can report littering offences via the litter hotline number on 1300 135 513 or by visiting: http://epa.tas.gov.au/regulation/report-littering

For more information on the National Litter Index go t http://kab.org.au/litter-research/