Kentucky Litter Survey

TRUE OR FALSE: Beverage containers make up only 5% of litter?

FALSE! The beverage companies and grocers often make such outrageous claims. It may be true in bottle bill states, where the nickel or dime deposit provides a disincentive to litter beer, soda and other beverage containers, but it is not true in the 40 non-deposit states.

The Solid Waste Coordinators of Kentucky (SWAK) heard the same story in 1999 from the Kentucky Beverage Industry Recycling Program (BIRP). BIRP published a report in February 1999 titled "Litter in Kentucky: 1998 Analysis", in which they reported that beer and soft drink containers made up 7.6% of total litter in Kentucky.

SWAK decided to conduct their own litter composition study to find out for themselves what portion of the litter stream was beverage cans and bottles. The results of their survey showed that beverage containers comprised 43% of litter on urban streets, 42% on waterways and 54% on highways and rural roads for an average of 49%.

Graph of litter composition in KY urban streetsGraph of litter Composition in KY waterwaysGraph of Litter composition on KY rural roads & highwaysLitter composition in KY - All sites


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