Report reveals single-use plastic bottle pollution has increased in SEQ

18 December 2017

South East Queenslanders are being urged to avoid single-use plastic bottles this summer and turn to tap water instead, after a new report revealed an increase in plastic litter in our waterways.

Healthy Land and Water and Queensland Urban Utilities have joined forces to encourage everyone to carry a reuseable water bottle to help reduce the growing tide of plastic in our rivers and creeks.  

The call to action follows today’s release of Healthy Land and Water’s Clean Up Program Annual Report, which found the amount of single-use plastic bottle pollution picked out of our waterways had increased in our waterways for the first time in four years. 

Healthy Land and Water CEO, Julie McLellan, said more than 16,000 plastic bottles were picked out of rivers across Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Logan and Ipswich in the twelve months to June 2017.

“Buying bottled water is a popular and convenient way to keep hydrated in summer but it comes at a terrible price,” she said.

“Too often single-use plastic bottles are discarded and end up polluting our waterways and impacting on fragile marine habitats.

“Thirty per cent of the turtle deaths in Moreton Bay are caused by the ingestion of plastic litter*.”

The Clean Up Program Report found single-use plastic water bottles accounted for 22 per cent of the total rubbish collected from our rivers.  

It’s the first time plastic bottle litter has increased in the past four years, possibly due to the large amount of litter washed into waterways during ex-tropical cyclone Debbie last year.

Queensland Urban Utilities spokesperson, Michelle Cull, said carrying a reusable water bottle and filling up on tap water was not only better for the environment, but your health and hip pocket.

“Australians spend more than $600 million on bottled water every year which doesn’t make sense,” she said.

“Tap water is also better for your health than other drinks because it doesn’t contain any sugar.

“If you find the taste of water a bit boring, a big trend this summer is creating your own fruit infusions. All you need to do is add your favourite fruits to a jug or dispenser of water and let it rest for a few hours in the fridge.”  

Healthy Land and Water has made it easier to fill up on tap water by installing go2zone water refilling stations at seven public places across South East Queensland.

Queensland Urban Utilities has also installed four water refill stations at South Bank Parklands.

The Clean Up Program Report is available here.

Fruit infusion recipes are available at

*Source: Research from the University of Queensland’s ‘Moreton Bay Research Station’