Central Coast residents have reported the largest number of “tossers” as part of the NSW Government’s Report A Tosser! program, launched in 2015 as part of the NSW Government’s anti-littering program.
The region ranked number one in a recent list of areas recording the most reports, with Coasties clocking up 3,200 reports.
Roadside locations are the number one littered sites in NSW, and the program aims to change behaviours and reduce litter by sending a clear message that littering is unacceptable.
NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Litter Prevention Manager, Rupert Saville, said more than 58,500 people across NSW have registered with Report to EPA to report “tossers” littering from vehicles.
“It’s fantastic to be supported by so many community members who feel so passionate about protecting the environment,” Saville said.
“Currently, the Report A Tosser! community is over three times the size of the NSW Police Force and is growing.
“The program is designed to empower the community to protect the environment and ensure it’s clean and safe for everyone to enjoy.
“It also sends a very strong message that anyone can be watching and, if you’re a tosser, you will be fined.”
Saville said around 25,000 tonnes of litter is tossed in NSW each year, costing the State and local governments more than $180M to manage.
Cigarette butts and takeaway packaging (including straws, cutlery, and plastics) are consistently the top littered items.
“It is estimated 1.32 billion cigarette butts are littered in NSW each year and they’re consistently the most littered item,” he said.
“What many people don’t realise is cigarette butts are made from plastic and they don’t break down, leaching toxins into the environment and causing damage to ecosystems and animals.
“The obvious ramification of a tossed lit cigarette is fire, which we know can have a devastating impact, but it can also travel by wind and water hundreds and thousands of kilometres through our rivers, creeks and stormwater, ending up in our oceans to kill marine life.
“A bag carelessly tossed in rural NSW can end up being mistaken for food by a turtle or a straw can get caught in a turtle’s nose.
“If a turtle eats just one piece of plastic, it will have a 20 per cent chance of dying.
“Sadly, only one in 1,000 turtles will reach adulthood.”
To Report A Tosser! you can register at www.epa.nsw.gov.au/reporttoepa/
Media release, Jun 30
Environment Protection Authority