Crackdown on litterbugs urged

LACK of political will is seeing careless individuals get away with trashing Tasmania, Clean Up Australia Day founder Ian Kiernan said yesterday.

Mr Kiernan, who was visiting Legana, said individuals must take more responsibility for their actions and urged local councils to take the issue more seriously.

``There is plenty of regulation there, it's just not being enforced,'' he said. ``I don't know of a single person that's ever been prosecuted for littering.''

Littering a cigarette butt is illegal under the 2007 Litter Act and carries a maximum fine of $240 if the matter is prosecuted.

Prosecutions in the state are few and far between, and fines are rarely enforced.

Mr Kiernan said if the state did not clean up its act, tourists would find somewhere cleaner to visit.

``What you have on offer here in terms of tourist destinations is just breathtaking,'' he said.

``But we know tourists will not return to degraded destinations.''

West Tamar Mayor Barry Easther said he was disgusted by the site of piles of cigarette butts.

``They're the filthiest flaming things you can come across,'' he said. ``How people can just toss them out their car windows, I don't know.''

Cr Easther said littering was very difficult to police.

``We need to educate people to take care of litter responsibly,'' he said.

``It's something which could be encouraged by local governments statewide.''

Beverage containers represented more than half the rubbish collected in last year's Clean Up Australia Day.

Cr Easther said too many people were simply too lazy to recycle the items.

``There's always an opportunity to recycle cans, bottles and alike,'' he said.

``Until we get container deposit legislation introduced in the state, we should always be recycling.''

States and territories are expected to consider adopting national container legislation later this year.

Clean Up Australia Day will be held on Sunday, March 2.

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