- The number of littered items has reduced by 22% since 2019–20 (from 158 items per 1,000 m2 to 123 items per 1,000 m2).
- The volume of litter has reduced by 14% since 2019–20 (from 12.76 litres per 1,000 m2 to 10.98 litres).
- The number of plastic littered items has reduced by 25% since 2019–20 (from 138 items per 1,000 m2 to 103 items per 1,000 m2).
- The volume of plastic litter has reduced by 8% since 2019–20 (from 7.68 litres per 1,000 m2 to 7.05 litres).
- By category, takeaway and beverage items (31.93%) are the biggest contributor to litter items in NSW, followed by confectionary and snacks (22.84%).
- CDS eligible beverage containers (37.31%) are the biggest contributor to litter volume, followed by takeaway and beverage items (32.07%).
- Confectionary wrappers and snack bags (19.6%) were found to be the most-littered item, followed by straws (10.46%).
- By material, plastic items accounted for the largest number of items (81.48%) and volume (58.46%).
Progress towards litter reduction targets
Target 1: 30% reduction in plastic litter items by 2025
In 2020–21 plastic litter items had reduced by 35% since the baseline year (2018–19).
This result suggests that the 2025 target has already been achieved. However, litter data is inherently variable and a single year’s figures should be treated with caution, particularly as COVID-19 lockdowns may have reduced littering. Long-term trend data will provide a more accurate picture.
Target 2: 60% reduction in all litter items by 2030
In 2020–21 all litter items had reduced by 35% since the baseline year (2018–19).
As noted above, long-term trend data is required to provide a more accurate assessment of progress towards this target.
Progress towards NSW litter targets: litter items per 1,000 m2