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Keeping our environment clean

Published 14th October, 2016

Reduce the volume of litter by forty per cent, by 2020

Why is this important?

Littering impacts all of us. It spoils our environment, costs millions to clean up, and is associated with anti-social behaviour.

85% of us think littering is a very important issue facing NSW.
EPA Hey Tosser survey 2015

It’s time to rethink our approach to litter

Most of us know that litter has harmful effects. Litter lays waste to our precious ecosystems, pollutes our waterways and, by leading to anti-social behaviour and crime, makes our communities less safe.

These are just a few of the reasons behind the Premier’s Priority to reduce the volume of litter in New South Wales.

But on top of the environmental and social costs, litter costs us at least $167 million every year.

So let’s work together to keep our environment the way it was meant to be—litter-free, for us and for future generations.

trash cash

Litter leads to more litter. The more litter there is in a given area, the less likely people will care for that space.

How is the government tracking?

In 2015-16, NSW reduced the volume of litter by 12 per cent and its litter count by 4 per cent.

Keeping our environment clean graph

Results from the biannual Keep Australia Beautiful (KAB) litter surveys, reported annually in the National Litter Index, reveal a drop of 19 per cent in the total volume of litter from the base year (2013-14).

We have also seen an 8 per cent reduction in the total volume of litter in our environment, a figure which puts us ahead of the national average of 5 per cent.

These results are encouraging, but there is still more to do. We are constantly evaluating the success of our litter reduction programs against the National Litter Index and other data and developing new measures to tackle the problem.

What is the government doing?

Education and Awareness: Hey Tosser! campaign

The NSW Environment Protection Authority’s Hey Tosser! campaign aims to educate the public about litter and inspire action. The campaign provides helpful tips on reducing litter and empowers people to take action to stop tossers polluting our environment.

Watch this video with an audio description

Council and Community Litter Prevention Grants

Our $465.7 million Waste Less, Recycle More initiative provides funding to councils, community groups and other organisations to help them tackle littering, combat illegal dumping and increase recycling.

Since 2013, $4.5 million has been awarded to councils and community groups for over 118 litter projects. So far we have helped fund better litter bins, new litter bins, new cigarette butt bins, litter signs, enforcement of litter laws, litter education and community engagement about the impacts of littering.

Container Deposit Scheme

And there is more to come. By 1 July 2017, our container deposit scheme will be fully operational and help to reduce the amount of beverage container litter in the environment.

What can you do?

Volunteering on Clean Up Australia Day, becoming the anti-littering champion in your workplace, or running a litter prevention project in your neighbourhood are just a few of the ways you can help us make our state litter-free.

Want to help?

Published 14th October, 2016