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Ian Kiernan AO, reveals the Tasmanian 2010 rubbish report statistics

Media Release - 9 February 2011

Download the 2010 Rubbish Report PDF (9mb)

Clean Up Australia Day’s 2010 Rubbish Report reveals that plastics and beverage container rubbish remain the scourge of Tasmania.

In 2010 an estimated 22,432 volunteers removed around 602 tonnes of rubbish from 274 registered Clean Up sites across the state. The number one rubbish item removed was PET drink containers, accounting for 34% of rubbish surveyed.

Calling for Tasmanians to join forces for Clean Up Australia Day 2011, Ian Kiernan AO, Chairman and founder of Clean Up Australia commented; “Tasmania is one of Australia’s relatively unspoiled environments and you only need to take a deep breath to support the boast that you have the cleanest air in the world.”

 “Over 37% of your beautiful state is protected environment. Your parks are one of our nation’s most beautiful tourist attractions. But it appears from our Rubbish Report that this status creates mountains of rubbish; Tasmanian parks averaging nearly 1,000 rubbish items per site, a far higher average than anywhere else in the country. It is unacceptable that your environment is being degraded by disposable rubbish – the greatest proportion of which is plastics and other beverage related rubbish.”

“It is fantastic Tasmania is already making moves to ban single use plastic bags this year. Plastic bags can last up to 450 years in salt water making them one of the most destructive forms of waste in Australia. Lightweight and water resistant, they often end up being blown into our waterways and bush where they harm or kill our wildlife.”

“The same action needs to be taken with drink containers and other beverage related rubbish. It is disappointing to see that 42% of all rubbish reported by Tasmanian volunteers in 2010 was beverage related.”

When Clean Up Australia surveyed Tasmanians in 2009 about their attitude to a deposit style of incentive scheme to recycle beverage containers, a staggering 87% supported a 10c deposit.

“Clean Up is the voice of the community, so I urge decision makers in this beautiful state to listen to your constituents. Work with us to bring in a scheme that can raise your recycling rates above the national average of 35% to the sort of figures enjoyed by clean states such as South Australia – where recycling rates are as high as 75-80%.

Recognising the commitment and spirit of volunteers in Tasmania, Ian Kiernan stated “Clean Up Australia Day would not be possible without the amazing volunteers working to clean up their own local areas. It is 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.”

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 Victorian 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. PET drink containers
  2. Cigarette butts
  3. Bottle caps and lids
  4. Alcoholic beverage bottles                      
  5. Chips and confectionary


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


  1. Plastic
  2. Miscellaneous
  3. Paper
  4. Metal/Aluminium
  5. Glass

Other Tasmania results:
Fact 1 – Tasmanians generate over 500,000 tonnes of waste a year .

Fact 2 – The proportion of plastic found in Tasmania was up to 3 times higher than other states.

Fact 3 – In November 2010 Tasmania announced a ban of single use plastic bags in 2011. This motion received tri-partisan support in the Tasmanian parliament.

Fact 4 – Parks were the most polluted sites surveyed in Tasmania.  The average amount of rubbish items per site has increased from 2009 by over 115% (434 in 2009).

Fact 5 – Beverage container related rubbish accounted for 42% of rubbish removed by volunteers in 2011.

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