Hon Stephen Dawson MLC

Hon Stephen Dawson MLC

Minister for Emergency Services; Innovation and the Digital Economy; Medical Research; Volunteering

    Littering increase due to cigarette butts and packaging

    26/10/2018 12:00 PM
    • Cigarette butts and packaging responsible for more than a third of litter
    • Government campaign to tackle cigarette butts from early 2019 

    A campaign targeting littered cigarette butts will be rolled out across the State early next year.


    Environment Minister Stephen Dawson has announced the campaign following the release of Keep Australia Beautiful WA's National Litter Index (NLI) - showing discarded butts were responsible for pushing up the State's litter statistics.


    The 2017-18 NLI reported Western Australia's litter figures were up on last year with a 21.9 per cent rise in cigarette butt litter - the main contributor.  Cigarette butts and packaging accounted for 3,376 of the 9,550 litter items recorded - more than a third of the total count.


    While 2017-18 results showed a marginal increase of 2.6 per cent across the State compared to 2016-17 results, overall littering was still 21 per cent lower than that recorded in 2015-16.


    The NLI is measured twice each financial year in every State and Territory in Australia.


    In WA, it measures littering across 151 sites within 50 kilometres of the Perth central business district including highways, beaches, retail and shopping areas, car parks, recreational parks, and residential and industrial areas.


    The most significant decreases for littering were takeaway packaging - down 11.3 per cent - and beverage containers which were down by seven per cent.


    To call out litterers and to help make a difference, sign up to become a Litter Reporter here.


    For more information on general waste in WA and how you can make a difference on a personal level, visit http://www.ownyourimpact.com.au


    Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:


    "Cigarette butts are the most littered item in Australia and Western Australia is not immune to this problem - as highlighted in this year's National Litter Index.


    "Littered cigarette butts do not break down and are often washed into waterways, causing contamination.


    "They can be mistaken for food by our wildlife and are a blight on the beauty of our State's natural environment.


    "The efforts of the majority are being undermined by the selfish acts of the few who litter.


    "If you are a smoker, please dispose of your cigarette butts responsibly into waste bins. Failing to do this is an offence.


    "I encourage all those who do the right thing to help make a difference by registering to become a Litter Reporter."


    Minister's office - 6552 5800