- Of the 7,044 sites cleaned up around Australia, 10% or 738 sites were analysed for this report.
- The total number of sites analysed has increased significantly from 484 sites last year to 738 sites.
- The quality of data returned has also improved with 87% of survey forms returned this year completed correctly, as compared to 83% last year.
- An estimated 8,451 tonnes of rubbish was collected during the Clean Up Australia campaign across Australia.
- This year a total of 309,810 items formed the sample of rubbish counted for analysis.
- NSW once again returned the highest number of surveys (265), followed by Victoria (144).
- The national split between surveyed rural and urban sites was 56% urban and 44% rural.
- School grounds were the most surveyed sites, accounting for 24.7% of all sites surveyed.
- The least number of surveys were completed at parks/waterfonts, accounting for 2% of all sites surveyed.
- The least number of surveys were completed at outdoor transport sites which accounted for less than 1% of the total surveys returned.
Major Sources of Rubbish
- For the eleventh consecutive year plastics made up the majority of rubbish collected accounting for 32% of surveyed rubbish. This is down from last year when plastic accounted for 37% of surveyed rubbish.
- Miscellaneous rubbish including cigarette butts, food scraps, clothing, ceramics and car parts accounted for 18% of rubbish surveyed.
- Paper/cardboard was the third most common type of rubbish found (15%), followed by glass (14%), metal (12%), polysterene (5%), wood (2%) and rubber (1%).
The Top Ten Rubbish Items
- Cigarette Butts were the most commonly found rubbish item in 2005, accounting for 31% of the Top Ten items and 17% of all items found - up from 15% in 2004.
- Glass pieces increased to account for 12% of the Top Ten Rubbish Items and 6% of all rubbish found - up from 4% in 2004.
- Chips and confectionery bags accounted for 10% of the Top Ten Items and 6% of all rubbish found - down from 7% in 2004.
- The next most commonly found items were small paper pieces (8% of top ten items), plastic straws (7% of top ten items), metal bottle caps & lids (6% of top ten items), PET bottles (6% of top ten items), metal alcoholic cans (5% of top ten items) and metal softdrink cans (5% of top ten items).
The Most Polluted Areas in Australia
- There was an overall decrease in the average number of items found per site from 592 items last year to 507 this year.
- Parks/waterfronts were the most polluted sites in 2005, with an average of 486 items collected from each park/waterfront site.
- The number of rubbish items cleaned up continues to increase.
- The number of cigarette butts found continues to increase, in 2005 accounting for 17% of all items found.
- The percentage of plastic rubbish has decreased by 5%.
- Recyclable rubbish such as glass and paper continues to increase.
KEY SURVEY RESULTS
Plastic was once again the most common source of rubbish found accounting for 32% of all rubbish found. However the percentage of plastic rubbish found has decreased by 5% - in 2004 it accounted for 37% of all rubbish surveyed.
Polystyrene accounted for 5% of all rubbish surveyed in 2005, the same result as 2004.
The amount of glass rubbish surveyed increased, accounting for 14% of all rubbish surveyed - a 2% increase from 2004.
As in previous years, rubber has remained the smallest source of rubbish accounting for 1% of the total rubbish surveyed.
Paper and Cardboard
Paper and cardboard accounted for 15% of the rubbish surveyed, up from 13% in 2004.
Metal and Aluminium
Metal and Aluminium accounted for 12% of the rubbish surveyed in 2005, down from 13% in 2004.
Wood accounted for 2% of the total rubbish surveyed in 2005, which was the same result as 2004.
Miscellaneous items accounted for 17% of the total rubbish surveyed - the same as 2004. Consistent with previous years, cigarette butts made up the vast majority of miscellaneous items found.