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Littering on Beaches: Why It Needs to Stop

Australian Beach

Marine litter is one of Australia’s most destructive environmental problems. These materials ruin coastal and aquatic habitats and put marine life at risk.

Littering on beaches is one significant reason why there’s an increasing volume of trash in our oceans. Many people tend to throw away their rubbish anywhere. Litter items can travel long distances and disrupt our marine ecosystem’s balance and safety.

Studies have shown that waste materials have begun to enter our food chain, later ending on our plates. This is a significant concern that needs to stop before it destroys the majority of our natural environment.  

Damages of Beach Littering

Littered materials accumulate in various parts of the country. With many beaches and beachgoers across the country, it’s no doubt that beach littering contributes significantly to the volume of rubbish found in our oceans and seas.

This debris typically threatens marine habitats and aquatic life, affecting the overall condition of coastal environments. The following are some dangers which beach littering can bring:


Marine animals get attracted to trash because of their natural curiosity or search for shelter and food. However, this innate trait endangers them as they may get trapped and entangled in certain types of litter items.

Although it may not necessarily lead to death, the trash may bring them torturous pain. The litter item may get embedded in their flesh, causing them not to grow normally.


Animals such as fish and birds may ingest litter items on the sea. This happens because they may think the trash floating on the water is their prey.

For example, turtles confuse plastic bags with jellyfish. That’s why they tend to eat such harmful materials. Birds may perceive floating plastic items like eggs, fish, or crabs and feed on them.

Ingestion of litter items is a serious problem as it could result in malnutrition and starvation. Moreover, ingested sharp materials may wound an animal’s digestive system and cause pain. In worst cases, the trash they’ve eaten may block their air passage and suffocate them, leading to death.

Damage of Coastal Habitats

Trash can cause massive destruction of coastal habitats. As litter volume increases, removing such items from beaches using heavy machinery will be necessary. 

However, this action may damage shore habitats. Hence, preventing beach littering is essential to avoid the use of heavy cleaning equipment.

Damage of Benthic Habitats

Littering on beaches that end up on the sea can damage benthic habitats. The accumulation of trash can modify the habitat’s structure, reduce light levels, and deplete oxygen levels.

These significant changes may challenge the ability of benthic habitats to support marine life.

10 Facts About Beach Littering

Beach littering makes coastal areas look unpleasant and less healthy. Litter items damage our environments, threaten aquatic and wildlife, injure people, and ruin the safety of our spaces.

  • NSW toss over 25,000 tonnes of litter each year
  • 24% of those are takeaway containers
  • Each Australian equates to 5 pieces of beach litter
  • Plastic takes 75% of marine litter
  • 59% of marine litter comes from land
  • 33% of turtles and 43% of seabirds in the world have ingested plastics
  • Plastics cause 20% of wildlife and marine life entanglements
  • Australians use an average of 130kg of plastic every year but recycle only 12%
  • An equivalent of one garbage truck gets dumped into the ocean every 60 seconds
  • For every kilogram of plankton, there are six kilograms of plastic in the ocean

The facts above show how destructive litter items are. We must know how to minimise the adverse impacts and keep our coastal and marine environments safe and healthy.

What You Can Do to Help Stop Beach Littering

As individuals, we contribute a huge portion of the volume of rubbish that ends up on shores and oceans. We all accumulate and discard various items daily, and many tend to be irresponsible in disposing of their trash.

Beach littering is destructive and should be put to an end. Here’s what you can do to help:

  • Minimise waste accumulation
  • Reuse and recycle items when possible
  • Be responsible for disposing of rubbish
  • Stop yourself from littering
  • Avoid single-use products and plastic bags
  • Use non-disposable containers when bringing food to beaches
  • Take your trash with you when there are no bins around
  • Participate in beach cleaning activities and encourage others to do so

Key Takeaways

Littering on beaches threatens our environment. It endangers natural aquatic habitats and marine life, disrupting the balance and safety of our ecosystem.

It’s an irresponsible action which we need to stop before it ruins the entirety of our environment. Knowing the damages of beach littering helps us establish the best possible solutions to end the problem.

We can work together and restore the healthy condition of our shores and oceans. At Paul’s Rubbish Removal, we help build a sustainable environment for the present and future generations.

Our efforts to educate and help people in their waste management and disposal has been remarkable journey. We continue to provide various information and render professional rubbish removal services across Sydney.

Contact us to know more about how we can help solve different environmental issues. We are ready to assist you anytime!

Sarah Ann

Sarah Ann

Sarah Ann is a Digital Content Writer for Paul's Rubbish Removal. Sarah is a huge advocate for recycling, environmental sustainability, health and well-being and has a genuine love for all sea animals. Keep up with Sarah by following Paul's Rubbish Removal blog!

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