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Number of litter items in Queensland

Key finding

The average number of litter items at urban sites in Queensland has been consistently higher than the average across Australia. There has been a gradual decline in the number of litter items and volume of litter recorded since 2005 in both Queensland and Australia.

Since 2005, the Keep Australia Beautiful network has produced the National Litter Index, based on bi‑annual litter surveys of 983 urban and near-urban areas across Australia. The index provides baseline data for comparing progress in reducing litter across states.

Survey sites are categorised according to their location type, and the same sites are used in each survey. No adjustments are made to account for the effect of population size or density on littering rates. All litter items are counted and categorised according to their material type. Estimates of litter volume are derived according to established volume ratios for each litter type.

Queensland has consistently recorded a higher average number of litter items than the Australian average. The average volume of litter at Queensland sites is generally lower than the national average due to a lower number of large items and large glass items in Queensland. ‘Large items’, including e-waste and bags of rubbish, are called ‘illegal dumping’ in the National Litter Index but are too small to meet the definition of illegal dumping in Queensland.

Both the number of litter items and total volume of litter have declined in Queensland and Australia since litter surveys started in in 2005. However, the most recent survey noted a slight increase in Queensland in both volume and number of items.

More information:

Indicator: Comparison between Queensland and national average trend over time

Number and volume of litter items per 1000m² for Queensland and Australia, 2005–2006 to 2016–2017 (data from the National Litter Index).

Download data from Queensland Government data

Last updated 12 February 2020