Each year, more than 25,000 tonnes of litter is tossed in NSW. That’s a lot of litter. It damages our natural environment, harms wildlife, can injure people and costs us all a lot of money to clean up. What a waste!
Here in the Northern Rivers littered items, whether discarded from vehicles or tossed in car parks, streets or our beautiful parks and open spaces don’t have far to travel before they end up entering and polluting our waterways.
‘Plastics are a serious problem mainly because most ‘break up’ rather than break down, so becoming permanent pollutants and entering our food chain,’ said Karen Rudkin, Litter Project Coordinator for North East Waste. ‘They are also easily transported by wind and water and are often mistaken for food by animals who then ingest or become entangled in them,’ she said.
According to EPA sources, an estimate 75% of marine litter is plastic and 59% comes from items littered on land!
We’re all responsible for what we do with our own rubbish and we can be part of the solution to the problem with these simple ways to reduce littering:
- Put rubbish in a bin or take it with you
- Encourage others to pick up their litter
- Keep a bag in your car to collect rubbish
- Report littering from vehicles at: www.epa.nsw.gov.au/reporttoepa
- Get involved in a local litter project or clean up
- Post/share information about litter
- ‘Choose to refuse’ plastic items that often end up as litter e.g bags, straws, balloons & takeaway cutlery
- Take the challenge at www.plasticfreejuly.org
Don’t be a Tosser! Be a litter legend. To find out more about what you can do to reduce littering in your community visit www.pickitupandbinit.com or contact your local council.
This is a NSW EPA Waste Less, Recycle More initiative funded by the waste levy.