Summer crackdown on littering launched
CIGARETTE butts will be the key focus of EPA Victoria’s summer litter crackdown, with figures revealing around 25 bushfires in Victoria’s park and forests are caused every year by discarded butts.
Launching its new mobile litter reporting site, at St Kilda Beach on the first day of summer, EPA CEO John Merritt revealed more than $3.5 million in fines issued for littering this year were for butts thrown from cars.
And he warned the crackdown on litterers would continue over summer, as the fire danger reached its peak: “About 90 per cent of our litter fines are for cigarette butts that have been thrown from cars, and make up about 50 per cent of the litter generated in Victoria.
“So, no apologies, those caught littering from cars will face hefty fines - including a maximum penalty of $577 for flicking a lit cigarette,” Mr Merritt said.
More than 50,000 Victorians have already signed up to report litter. The new litter reporting mobile site will make that process even easier. From today, any mobile device can be used to report litter.
Mr Merritt said EPA’s Summer Litter Campaign was a state-wide campaign that would run till the Labour Day weekend in March. It comprises a digital strategy and radio advertising, targeting Victorians when they are out enjoying the summer weather.
The launch coincides with a number of key actions being rolled out as part of the Victorian Government’s Cleaner Yarra and Bay Action plan, including a new water quality website – cleaneryarrabay.vic.gov.au; the start of the iconic Beach Report and YarraWatch season; and a new partnership with Life Saving Victoria to display forecasting signage for nine bay beaches.
“We want people to have information about two of our most beautiful natural assets, Port Phillip Bay and the Yarra River at their fingertips,’ Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith said.
“Information is power – each and every one of us plays a part in protecting these areas, through something as simple as reporting litter, you too can get involved.”
Stop litter where it starts by reporting litterers this summer - visit www.epa.vic.gov.au/reportlitter or call 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842).