For every Australian there are 5 pieces of litter on our beaches.
Each year, over 25,000 tonnes of litter is tossed in NSW. But we can make a difference. Reducing littering is important for the health of the environment and of our communities. Everyone is responsible for their own litter, and if you litter you can be fined.
Not only does litter pose a major threat to the local environment and wildlife, both land and marine, it also costs ratepayers. There are significant clean-up costs, and it can have a negative impact on local businesses and the tourism industry. Litter impacts us all and can prevent us from enjoying our local community spaces such as parks, beaches, rivers and town centres.
Litter in Byron Bay
Byron Shire Council Resource Recovery Ambassadors collected data on litter in Apex Park Byron Bay and found that over 50% of all litter is smoking related. Subsequently, Council investigated smoking related litter hotspots in the Byron Shire including Byron town centre, Suffolk Park, Mullumbimby, Brunswick Heads, Coolaman Scenic Drive, Bangalow and Federal and found smoking related items equated for 82% of the litter collected!
Local non-for-profit group Positive Change For Marine Life has run fortnightly beach cleans on Main Beach Byron Bay since 2012, collecting over 400,000 items of litter largely consisting of cigarette butts.
How are we tackling the problem?
BSC has partnered with the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to conduct a ‘Butt Free Byron Shire’ campaign. This is based on the EPA’s four pillars for litter reduction.
As part of this campaign we have installed brand new enviropoles around the Shire.