Most littered items

Much of litter is recyclable, and when these items become litter they are also a lost resource.

Cigarette butts are the most littered item in Australia, and have been since 1997 when they were first counted. They make up half of all litter!

Butts are followed by drink containers, paper (all types of paper and cardboard, takeaway food packaging), organics (food and animal faeces) and chewing gum.

Household rubbish, green waste, furniture, electrical equipment, renovation and demolition waste are also significant litter problems.

New sources of litter are becoming increasingly evident. Changing consumer patterns, such as our reliance on take-away food, increased use of unsolicited advertising materials and the introduction of automatic teller machines all impact on litter.

Lifestyles have also changed - we are busier, engage in more snacking and grazing and increasingly buy fast foods. This means more potential for litter in more places, more often.

Top litter items

  1. cigarette butts

  2. glass bottles (alcohol and soft drink)

  3. plastic bottles/ PET drink bottles

  4. aluminium cans (alcohol and soft drink)

  5. plastic bags.

Source: Victorian Litter Action Alliance

Page last updated: Thursday, 18 June 2020