A little bit of litter is a big problem
Every year, over 25,000 tonnes of litter is tossed in NSW.
Not only does litter pose a major threat to the local environment and wildlife, it also costs ratepayers a lot of money. There are significant clean-up costs, and it can have a negative impact on local businesses and the tourism industry. Litter impacts us all and can prevent us from enjoying our local community spaces such as parks, beaches, rivers and the town centre.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council has recently been successful with a $77,000 marine litter grant from the NSW EPA, to target fishing litter.
Litter lowdown in Australia
- The most common types of litter in NSW include cigarette butts, paper/paperboard, plastic, glass and takeaway packaging
- Around 50 million plastic bags enter the Australian litter stream every year
- Takeaway containers make up 23% of the litter volume in NSW
- 7.2 billion cigarette butts are littered annually in Australia. Cigarette butts are toxic, contain 43 known carcinogens and leach chemicals into waterways within an hour
- For every Australian there are 5 pieces of litter on beaches
- 75% of marine litter is plastic and 59% comes from the land
What about Port Macquarie-Hastings?
In our region it's no different. Our problem items range from the most common items - cigarette butts to plastic bottles and bags, beverage and takeaway containers, bottle lids, ring-pulls and straws through to mixed general waste.
What can you do to help reduce litter?
Litter on our streets often ends up in our waterways. When you're out and about, bin your litter, or where that's not possible, take it home with you.
You can register for the Picitup program.
The Picitup program is supported by Midwaste Regional Waste Group. Picitup encourages everyone to become an everyday litter champion and pick up rubbish they see to help keep our environment litter free. Any resident aged over 12 years can register to take part, and will be eligible for their free ‘Picitup’ Litter Kit, containing a handmade Boomerang shoulder-bag, four litter sacks, two pairs of gloves and a booklet to record what litter is picked up.
Free Picitup kits are available from Council.
Return and Earn
The 'Return and Earn' program helps to reduce container litter from our streets and waterways. You can earn 10 cents when you return an eligible container to an approved Return Point. Learn more about Return and Earn.
Report littering from a vehicle
If you see someone littering from their vehicle, you can report them to the EPA. Fines from $250 for an individual and $500 for a corporation can be issued from your report.
To report littering from a vehicle you need to
- have actually seen the litter being thrown, or blown, from the vehicle
- provide the vehicle registration details and the location where the littering took place
- report the incident within 14 days
This page was last updated on: 20 December 2018