Rubbish stats ‘reflect badly’ on Tasmania: Clean Up Australia

Of all the litter Tasmanian volunteers collected in 2017, more than 50 per cent was associated with food and non-food packaging, according to a new report.

The Clean Up Australia Rubbish Report found that 58.7 per cent of rubbish collected by the state’s volunteers was made up of packaging (41 per cent food packaging and 17.7 per cent non-food packaging).

Tasmania’s food packaging statistic was 6 per cent over the national count of 35 per cent, which, the report suggested, showed that items consumed or opened in transit were being “carelessly discarded”.

“That reflects badly on Tasmania,” the report read.

Clean Up Australia chairman Ian Kiernan said it was vital that people reduced their use of products with “excess” packaging.

“By consciously choosing items with less packaging we can influence the amount of rubbish that ends up in the waste stream or as litter on our streets and beaches or in our parks, bushland or waterways,” Mr Kiernan said.

The report found that glass (30 per cent) and plastic (25 per cent) were the two primary sources of rubbish in the state.

Indeed, the percentage of glass reported by Tasmanian volunteers was the highest of any state and double what was recorded in Western Australia.

Food wrappers topped the list of items collected, representing 25.1 per cent of all rubbish.

Roadways were the most litter-prone sites in the state, while beaches and coastal areas returned an average of 388 items of litter per location, down 159 per location on 2016.

On Monday, the Tasmanian Greens unveiled their policy to establish a container deposit scheme for the state in order to combat the proliferation of litter.