AUSTRALIANS are being asked to spare a thought for the environment as they embark on a $46.7 billion splurge on food, drink, gifts and partying in the countdown to Christmas.
Household waste increases by up to 30% over Christmas as thousands of tons of wrapping paper, decorations, food, bottles and unwanted gifts are thrown out.
Street litter also rises as Australians party through December and attend outdoor Christmas events at parks and on the beach.
Keep Australia Beautiful Chief Executive Officer Philip Robinson is asking the public to follow seven simple steps to ensure we all enjoy a clean, green Christmas.
"Christmas may come only once a year, but when it does it can create one very big mess," Mr Robinson said.
"It doesn't need to be that way though. There are lots of simple and easy ways to cut your waste at Christmas and keep litter off our streets."
Keep it clean and green this Christmas:
- Dispose of cans, bottles, Christmas cards and wrapping paper in recycling bins.
- If you're enjoying carols in the park, opt for a picnic set over paper or plastic plates.
- If you have leftovers from Christmas dinner, compost them or (if your council allows it) put them in a green waste bin.
- Consider buying low-waste presents such as concert tickets and gift cards.
- If you need to wrap gifts, consider using a tea towel, scarf or cloth shopping bag that can be enjoyed long after Christmas.
- If you are giving a gift that needs batteries, include rechargeable ones with it.
- If you get a new TV, printer, computer or mobile, most council waste centres will recycle your old electronic goods.
About Keep Australia Beautiful:
Keep Australia Beautiful is the national peak body on litter prevention. With more than 45 years of experience in engaging Australians to care for their local environments, KAB Programs include Tidy Towns, Clean Beaches, Sustainable Cities, National Litter Index, Beverage Container Recycling Grants, Eco-Schools, Adopt a Patch, and Keep Australia Beautiful Week in August.
The KAB National website is kab.org.au where all information on the organisation can be accessed including the National Litter Index, which is Australia's only independent nation-wide litter research.