A new anti-litter campaign has been developed in Western Australia to discourage the dumping of items such as food and beverage containers and cigarette butts.
The campaign, developed by Keep Australia Beautiful WA and launched today during Keep Australia Beautiful Week, sends the message that littering not only has environmental, economic and social impacts, but is also illegal.
Environment Minister Stephen Dawson announced the campaign aims to change people's behaviour and targets those who discard some of the most regularly littered items including flavoured milk cartons, beer bottles, plastic bottles, fast food containers and cigarette butts.
The campaign is part of the McGowan Labor Government's commitment to waste and litter reduction across the State.
While many Western Australians do the right thing with their rubbish, there is still a section of the community who are carelessly littering.
Litter statistics, measured by the National Litter Index, show WA has high levels of litter. The 2015–16 index shows that takeaway food and beverage containers and cigarette butts make up 61 per cent of the littered items found across 151 sites audited throughout the State.
Such litter can result in significant clean-up costs, negative environmental impacts, fires from discarded cigarette butts, toxic materials getting into waterways and plastics being ingested by wildlife.
Throughout the past 12 months, more than 2,500 litterers were fined between $200 and $500 each for not putting their litter in the bin.
Keep Australia Beautiful Week runs until August 28. To participate, visit the Keep Australia Beautiful website
Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:
"The fact that some Western Australians are still littering in 2017 is shameful.
"The scourge of litter is a serious issue for everyone in our community - and one the McGowan Government takes very seriously.
"Each year, State and local governments, businesses and the community spend millions of dollars cleaning up litter. We also lose the opportunity to recycle when waste ends up as litter.
"This campaign reminds us all to do the right thing with rubbish."
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