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Packaging Big Litter Problem

The type of litter in Christchurch has changed over the past 10 years. The Keep Christchurch Beautiful campaign has carried out the litter study every six months for the last 10 years, counting and detailing each piece of litter at 111 confidential sites around Christchurch.

Studies of the litter taken 10 years ago and up to recent times showed that match sticks and tear tabs from drink cans were always present but today they have been replaced with straws and fast-food packaging.

The latest count in January showed that paper-card and plastic were the main sources of litter counted.

The KCB co-ordinator, Ingrid Le Fevre, says there are eight basic sources of littering. These are pedestrians, motorists, uncovered trucks and trailers, household rubbish, commercial and industrial operations, careless loading and delivery, construction and demolition sites, and marine sources.

How long does litter last? Miss Le Fevre says that aluminum cans and caps can last 500 years and glass bottles 1000 years and plastic bottles indefinitely. This is why it is important to recycle those items, she says.

She says the public must be educated about the length of life of much of the city's litter, as it is clear that littering is not just a problem of today that can easily be cleared away.

"Making any inroads in stamping out litter can only be done when people realise the mess they are leaving for future generations," she says.

Littering is an offence and a $100 fine can be enforced.

"Please help us to Keep Christchurch Beautiful - do the right thing and stop littering the city," Miss Le Fevre says.

Further information: Ingrid Le Fevre: 371 1832. Media contact: Carole Evans, chairwoman of KCB: 388.6784, 025 2327633

Christchurch City Council http://www.ccc.govt.nz

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