No butts about ACT litterbugs

THE ACT’s annual litter rate has had the second highest increase in the nation, according to figures from the National Litter Index.

The figures, released by environment group Keep Australia Beautiful, show Canberra’s litter rate has risen from 45 to 58 items per 1000m2 – second only to the Northern Territory – and that volume has jumped from 3.73 litres to 4.93 litres per 1000m2.

The results are in light of Keep Australia Beautiful Week, which kicks off today.  

Cigarette butts were reported as the most frequently identified litter item with 34 butts per 1000m2, up from 23 butts in 2010/11.Drivers were the worst offenders, with highway sites contributing the highest total volume of litter per 1000m2 and an above average number of litter items per 1000m2.

According to Keep Australia Beautiful National Executive Peter McLean, roadside litter poses a threat to people and the environment.

“Not only does litter lining our roads and highways look ugly and is bad for the tourist experience, it also damages fragile roadside environments, many of which contain rare and threatened species,” he said.“We have also seen devastating bushfires started by someone flicking a lit cigarette butt out of their car window, so the message we hope will sink in is that it is never okay to litter.”

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