Litter is waste that’s put in the wrong place. Litter is a bottle thrown out the car window, a banana peel that misses a bin or a dumped trailer full of demolition rubble. It’s lawn clippings swept in to the stormwater drain, it’s a bag of dumped household rubbish on the nature strip. Litter has many forms and is found in many places, ruining the appearance of our public streets, parks and beaches and hurting the animals that call these places home.
Litter comes from shopping strips, farms, construction sites, businesses, households and individuals. Wind and rain moves the litter thrown on the ground in to our stormwater system or in to rivers which carries it to the ocean.
Litter causes many problems. Broken glass bottles in parks can injure visitors and discarded food waste can attract vermin and flies which spreads diseases. Litter impacts on the appearance of public spaces, making them less enjoyable for people to spend time in. Wildlife can be caught in fishing lines or made sick from eating plastic bags. Some animals become reliant on discarded food to survive and when there’s a lot of it they can push out native fauna that are more sensitive to changes in their environment and compete with them for habitat. Just one cigarette butt has the ability to kill half of the fish living in a 1 litre container and the butts are not biodegradable.
It’s everyone’s responsibility to help reduce litter. You can help by:
Making sure the lid can close on your wheelie bin so birds and wind don’t spread rubbish on to the ground
Don't put your hard waste on the nature strip without making a booking first. You can find information on how to book a collection here
Using your garden waste bin for lawn clippings, not sweeping them in to the drain
Not pouring oils or chemicals down the stormwater drain
Carrying a cigarette butt bin or making sure butts are placed into litter bins not thrown on the ground
Carry dog poo bags to pick up after your dog
Taking your rubbish home if there are no bins available
Always have a bag in your car for litter and pick up litter that you see when you’re out
Join a clean up event or register a site for Clean up Australia Day by visiting www.cleanup.org.au
Want to learn more about litter and why it’s an issue? Here are some organisations that are taking action on litter through research, education, direct action and enforcement.
Clean up Australia
Victorian Litter Action Alliance
Environmental Protection Authority
Keep Australia Beautiful
3196 BEACH PATROL (Chelsea, Bonbeach and Edithvale)
Contact: Lucy Bonham
ASPENDALE BEACH PATROL
Contact: Andie Carlon
MORDIALLOC BEACH PATROL
Contact: Tony Buckle
PARKDALE BEACH PATROL
Contact: Richard McCurdy
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