Clean Up Australia Day – Queensland Rubbish Report findings challenge irresponsible smokers


 This Sunday, 4 March is Clean-Up Australia Day, and the results are in from last year’s clean up from data submitted by volunteers nationally.

It’s time for Queensland smokers to pick up their act and take some pride in themselves and their state according to the latest Clean Up Australia Rubbish Report released today.

Smoking-related rubbish represented over 50% of the rubbish counted by Queensland volunteers in 2017, cigarette butts at 33.1% [an increase of 7.5% over 2016] and cigarette lighters at 17.7% [elevating them into the Top 10 count for the first time].

Ian Kiernan AO, chairman and founder of Clean Up Australia, has registered his disappointment in smokers, urging them to take responsibility for their rubbish, especially with the Commonwealth Games on Queensland’s doorstep.

“Tossing your butts is not OK”, he said.

“Queensland’s beautiful beaches, parks, bushland and streets are not an ashtray. Take responsibility for your butts!”

Litter directly associated with packaging made up 57.1% of the rubbish reported by Queensland volunteers with food packaging representing 15% and non-food packaging reflecting 42.1% of the Top 10 Grouped Data. Food packaging rubbish was more than the national count at 32.3%, suggesting that items consumed or opened in transit are being carelessly discarded. And that again reflects badly on Queensland.

“It is just as important to reduce our use of products with excess packaging as it is to responsibly dispose of the rubbish this packaging creates,” said Mr Kiernan.

“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.”

Plastic is once again the number one major source of rubbish in QLD at 38%, 3% higher than the national tally.

“Plastic that is not recycled outlives you and me, sitting in landfills and polluting the environment with adverse effects on our land animals and marine-life.”

“It is imperative that we reduce our appetite for single-use plastic – takeaway containers, straws, plastic bags and excess packaging – so that they don’t have a chance to become litter or sit in landfill.”

You can join a local clean up by visiting the Clean Up Australia web site: