We found that:
The research found that both socio-economic factors and the amount of time people spent at a site play a significant role in the amount of litter left behind. We also found
that the context of the site was important, for instance litter is found in national parks.
We identified a number of variables that affect litter and dumping loads, including population density and accessibility. Using the watersheds in the greater Brisbane area, as well as meteorological, geographic and national litter data, we developed a model which allows us to predict the debris load at unsurveyed sites.
The research shows that people are the greatest contributor to marine pollution meaning that to make a real difference, people must be part of the solution.
There is a significant opportunity for local governments to use this information to positively impact the resources allocated to, and the jobs undertaken by, waste management teams. We can now look at litter loads where there are no traps and compare them to sites with traps, which allows us to identify critical locations for future investments.