Litter is the biggest cause of visual pollution and impacts on our environment causing damage to waterways and harm to animal and marine life. It is expensive to clean up and a difficult issue to police.
The presence of litter increases the likelihood of socially unacceptable behaviour as it sends the message that the area is uncared for. People are more likely to report feeling unsafe in a littered area and have a lower level of satisfaction with a littered community.
Litter includes a broad range of items and can occur almost anywhere, from places where people frequent, to places people seek out to dump their material. Littering behaviour is fascinatingly complex and research shows that there is no typical 'litterer.
There are many different ways people litter from leaving things behind to stuffing their litter in nooks and crannies to flinging items out of cars. Peoples reasons for littering vary widely and what people report that they do, upon closer observation, is not necessarily how they behave.
Information about different aspects of litter can be found in the fact sheets on the right.