SOILED nappies are a leading cause of litter in Tasmania, according to Keep Australia Beautiful’s National Litter Index.
The report says Tasmanian mums and dads are responsible for the smelly trend, with disposable nappies accounting for nearly 30 per cent of miscellaneous rubbish in the state.
Beaches were found to be the most common dumping ground for dirty nappies, while the report also found used nappies comprise 1.1 of nearly 4 litres per 1000 sq m of miscellaneous rubbish tossed in public places around Tasmania.
In total, two billion used disposable nappies go into landfill per year in Australia.
Keep Australia Beautiful chief executive Peter McLean said the trend stinks.
‘‘Apart from being unhygienic and extremely unpleasant for other beach-goers, it is detrimental to the environment – some disposable nappies take up to 500 years to biodegrade,’’ he said.
‘‘Parents are not considering the fact that it will be their own children who will have to clean up environmental damage caused by dirty nappies left to rot in public places. It’s a shocking example for parents to be setting for their children.’’
Nationally, the National Litter Index interim report revealed that dirty nappies are the third biggest litter problem after construction materials and tyres.
‘‘Disposable nappies are now so absorbent that even small varieties swell to become relatively large and heavy,’’ Mr McLean said.
‘‘They take up more room in landfill which is why they are rapidly becoming an emerging litter trend when it comes to volume of waste. We can only speculate that the nappies are discarded because they’re offensive, but surely it’s not too much to ask parents to travel with spare plastic bags which they can use to store the soiled nappy until they find a bin.’’