Download PDF: ISPL Insight – Keeping your Australia Beautiful

If you haven’t heard yet, the 20-26 August is Keep Australia Beautiful (KAB) week. This year focuses on marine litter with the Save our Seas campaign (SOS). The idea behind SOS is to raise awareness about the simple things we can all do in our daily lives to reduce our impact on the environment and encourage action.

Did you know?

  • Approximately 10 million tonnes of litter end up in the world’s oceans and seas each year.
  • It is estimated that 70% of marine litter is on the seabed, 15% is floating in the water column and 15% is what we find on our shores.
  • Marine litter consists of a wide range of materials, including plastic, metal, wood, rubber, glass and paper. However, it is dominated by plastic which accounts for 80% of the items found on our beaches.
But what is it exactly?

The KAB initiative was first formed in 1968 by Dame Phyllis Frost in Victoria, Australia. Each state and territory then followed suite and are represented nationally by the KBA National Association. Western Australia’s KAB council was established in 1979 as a Statutory Authority as part of the Litter Act and is run by the WA government.

There are many different programs and campaigns that are run by the KAB Western Australia (KABWA) organisation. These range from innovative programs, initiatives for individuals and community groups as well as schools, businesses and local government authorities. With the hope of inspiring community actions and positive environmental outcomes. Some of the more well-known KAB initiatives include the Tidy Towns Sustainable Communities; Rethink Reuse, Recycle and the roadside litter prevention project.

How can you get involved?

Everyone in the community has a role to play in keeping Western Australia litter-free. By encouraging all those who love a clean environment to the participate in simple, on-the-ground environmental improvement activities, a more environmentally healthy, vibrant and inclusive community can be built. Some ways you can get involved are through the following programs:

  • Take personal action at home
    • Pick up litter when you are out walking instead of leaving it in the streets or gutters;
    • Refuse plastic bags when you are shopping, not all retailers have made the changed yet. Plastic bags are a common litter item and are dangerous to marine animals, such as dolphins, turtles, whales and fish, because they confuse them with jellyfish and eat the bags, often resulting in death;
    • Dispose of cigarette butts either in a bin, public butt bins or carry your own personal ashtray. Personal ashtrays are available from Keep Australia Beautiful WA (KABWA);
    • Pack a rubbish-free lunch with reusable plastic containers and water bottles rather than bags and drink boxes;
    • When out and about, make sure your waste goes in the public bins, not beside it. Alternatively, take your litter home, especially when visiting parks and gardens;
    • Put a ‘no junk mail’ sign on your mailbox. Contact KBAWA to get a free no junk mail sticker;
    • Secure your load when transporting any materials to ensure they don’t fly off;
    • Report abandoned shopping trolleys. In Western Australia, Woolworths, Big W and Target are part of the Trolley Tracker scheme. When you report you go in the draw for a $1000 shopping card. Call 1800 641 497 or visit;
  • Become a Litter Reporter
  • Adopt-a-Spot
    • individuals, groups and businesses can adopt a spot to keep litter -free. Nominate your spot, register online and you will receive free bags, gloves and tools to help with regular cleanups. Insurance is also available.
  • Join a KAB program
  • Tell a friend
    • research shows that many people get involved in Keep Australia Beautiful programs through hearing about it from friends, families and work colleagues. Don’t forget to tell others how you are involved, what you do and why you do it -then put them in touch with KABWA.
  • Promote the anti-litter message
    • If you are in a position to engage the broader community, KABWA can supply you with newsletter articles, logos, program information and links to promote their programs on your website or newsletter.
  • Become a volunteer
    • You can register as a volunteer with KAB and join them when they participate at community events to promote the anti-litter message.

If you or your organisation are interested in learning more about how to get involved in Keeping Australia Beautiful please contact Integrate Sustainability on 08 9468 0338 or

For more information or a more in-depth coverage of the projects please visit the links below.

Download PDF: ISPL Insight – Keeping your Australia Beautiful