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Boozin’ and cruisin’ affecting the Top End

Media Release - 23 February 2011

Clean Up Australia Day’s 2010 Rubbish Report reveals that much of our precious outback is littered with plastics and beverage container rubbish.

In 2010 an estimated 7,552 volunteers removed around 178 tonnes of rubbish from 81 registered Clean Up sites across the territory. The top rubbish items included glass and alcoholic beverage cans, bottles, bottle caps and lids. These items accounted for 46% of rubbish surveyed.

Calling out to the communities of the Northern Territory to join forces for Clean Up Australia Day 2011, Ian Kiernan AO, Chairman and Founder of Clean Up Australia commented; “The Northern Territory government is demonstrating real leadership with its plans to ban single use plastic bags and introduce container deposit legislation later this year – but in the meantime, residents and travellers in the Northern Territory need to clean up their act.

“And given that 46% of all rubbish reported by Northern Territory volunteers in 2010 was beverage related, there has never been a better time to provide an incentive to people to stop this rubbish entering our environ ment”.

“We know territorians want a container deposit scheme – 87% of them told us they were happy for the introduction of a 10cent deposit.
“So I urge the Territory government not to bow to pressure and misinformation being bandied about by the beverage industry – stick to your guns and listen to your constituents:.

Recognising the commitment and spirit of volunteers in Northern Territory, Mr Kiernan stated “Clean Up Australia Day would not be possible without the amazing volunteers who clean up their own local areas. It’s vital that we continue to tap into this great effort by registering for 2011. With rubbish increasing its visibility by 6% in 2010, we can’t just sit around – we need to take action for our environment.”

“The Northern Territory boasts some of the most spectacular, diverse and contrasting environments in Australia. Its home to the world heritage wonders of Kakadu National Park and Uluru; and is a microcosm of cultural exchange. The 100 plus nationalities across the region1  need to band together to preserve their unique environment. If we don’t take responsibility, beverage containers will continue to blight the Red Centre, diminishing the value of our beloved Outback.” 

 “I was also interested to learn that the Territory has the youngest population in Australia with a higher proportion of people under the age of15 than any other region. We need to engage with our kids   about the dangers of improper rubbish disposal. The Territory is in the perfect position to groom a very capable army of young people to band together to preserve the Top End. ”

Applauding the NT’s upcoming ban on single use plastic bags, Mr Kiernan commented; “Plastic bags are lightweight and water resistant, and often end up being blown into our waterways and bush where they harm or kill our wildlife. Once a bag is ingested the animal dies and releases the bag back into the environment to kill again – they’re serial killers.”

“We’re currently in an extreme waste situation, where it is estimated that Australians throw away over 7,000 recyclable plastic bags a minute, with 429,000 recyclable plastic supermarket bags dumped into landfill every hour.”

Clean Up Australia Day began when founder Ian Kiernan was shocked by the amount of waste he encountered while sailing the world’s oceans. Preventing waste from entering waterways is still a key goal of Clean Up Australia Day, and Clean Up urges NT residents to do their bit by registering for 2011.

Across the nation and estimated 588,000 volunteers removed around15,560 tonnes from 7,073 sites, making 2010 Clean Up Australia Day the largest community participation event in the country.

To register, simply go to www.cleanupaustraliaday.com.au or call 1800 CUA DAY.


  1. Glass pieces
  2. Alcoholic beverage cans
  3. Alcoholic beverage bottles
  4. Bottle caps and lids
  5. Cigarette butts


  1. Parks
  2. Beach/ coastal
  3. River / creek


  1. Plastic
  2. Metal/ Aluminium
  3. Miscellaneous (90% Cigarette butts)
  4. Paper
  5. Glass

Other Tasmania results:
Fact 1 – The NT generates roughly 181,000 tonnes of waste a year .
Fact 2 – On 6 May 2010 the Northern Territory Government announced it would introduce a ban on single use plastic bags and introduce Container Deposit Legislation from late 2011 in order to increase recycling rates .
Fact 3 – The NT recorded the highest percentage of glass pieces removed from their sites out of any state or territory at 13%.
Fact 4 – Plastics rubbish accounted for 41% of major source of rubbish removed by volunteers in 2010.
Fact 5 – Only 2.1% of the population took part in Clean Up Australia Day 2010, however close to 6,000 volunteers took part in the Great Northern Clean Up registering 131 sites and removing approximately 288 tonnes of rubbish

National findings from Clean Up Australia 2010 Rubbish Report:

  • Plastics represent 40% of all rubbish found including pet drink bottles, bottle caps and lids plus chips/confectionery bags
  • There was a 6% increase in number of rubbish items found per surveyed site, equating to 124 items per square kilometres.
  • Outdoor transport sites had the highest density of rubbish of all sites surveyed, with 326 items per square kilometre. They had close to twice the waste density of shops/malls and 46 times more waste than public bushland
  • Cigarette butts were the most commonly found item for the 15th year in a row – 1 in 5 waste items removed in 2010 was a cigarette butt
  • Beach and coastal areas and rivers/creeks showed the significant waste density at 164 and 108 items per square kilometre respectively

Australia’s largest community participation event. Get a group together and register your chosen Clean Up Site online.

Clean Up Australia Day – Sunday 6 March
Business Clean Up Day – Tuesday 1 March
Schools Clean Up Day – Friday 4 March

Your local park, waterway, bus area, beach or street.

Everyone is welcome – friends, family, kids, community groups, work colleagues or anyone else.

Register for Clean Up Australia Day now at www.cleanupaustraliaday.org.au or call 1800 CUA DAY for more information.


For any further media information or an interview, please contact:   
Monique Jones or Shadiyah Lim Taurus Marketing                                                             
Phone: +61 2 9415 4528 or +61 413 689 343                                                         
Email: monique@taurusmarketing.com.au / shadiyah@taurusmarketing.com.au