Environment

Sandgropers second worst litterbugs

CAITLIN TILLER

Keep Australia Beautiful's Clean Marine program is targeting beach litter.

Western Australia has more litter per square kilometre than anywhere in the nation other than New South Wales, the latest National Litter Index shows.

The index, released during Keep Australia Beautiful Week in August, estimated WA had 9.03 litres of litter per square kilometre, second only to NSW at 10.7 litres.

WA Environment Minister Bill Marmion welcomed a drop of almost half a litre per square kilometre in WA’s litter volume since last year but said more needed to be done.

“The State Government is using a combination of legislative reforms and targeted programs to encourage West Australians to reduce, reuse and recycle waste, and to change littering behaviour.” Mr Marmion said in a statement.

The index revealed cigarette butts were the most frequently reported litter nationally, and WA’s volume of metal litter was the highest in Australia.

Despite the data, Keep Australia Beautiful WA spokeswoman Maureen Maher said this year’s “Clean Marine” campaign received a good response on the state’s beaches.

She said the ‘Adopt a Spot’ portion of the campaign had been successful, with thousands of volunteers participating this year.

Adopt a Spot sees individuals or groups volunteer to clean and maintain an area for years at a time.

“There are currently 230 Adopt a Spot groups who do cleanups of their area every two to three years,” Ms Maher said.

Keep Australia Beautiful Week programs this year aimed to raise litter awareness among recreational fishers and boaters.

The Keep Australia Beautiful council now has 5000 registered litter reporters across WA.