Litter continues to decrease nationally

Wednesday, 27 August, 2014

As part of Keep Australia Beautiful Week (25-31 August), the National Litter Index (NLI) 2013-14 has been released. The report shows that the occurrence of litter nationally is continuing an overall downward trend.

The NLI is Australia’s only national annual quantitative measure of what litter occurs where and in what volume, based on counts taken twice a year at 983 sites across Australia. Since the start of the NLI nine years ago, an overall 27% reduction in items and 33% reduction by volume in the national average have been achieved.

According to Australian Packaging Covenant CEO Stan Moore, “The continuing decrease in litter is the result of collaborative actions between government, industry and community groups, such as the Australian Packaging Covenant, to address concerns about litter.”

The national average number of 51 items per 1000 m2 is down from 56 items last year, while the national average estimated volume of 5.97 L per 1000 m2 - down from 6.13 L. Victoria had the lowest overall litter count by state - well below the national count at 28 items per 1000 m2.

“Victoria’s leading result is due to their holistic approach to litter reduction encompassing education, packaging design, infrastructure and enforcement,” said Moore.

“While the overall results are encouraging, continuing collaboration between community groups, government and industry is required to deliver even better litter outcomes.”

The research is funded by all state and territory governments and the Australian Packaging Covenant. It can be found at

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