Washington State Litter Study

The 1998 Litter Act in Washington required a litter study to be carried out across the state, to determine the causes and composition of litter as well as prevention strategies.

As part of the study, samples of litter were collected from roadways, interchanges, and natural areas (including parks, rest areas, and public access areas), sorted, and weighed.

Findings related to beverage containers included the following:

  • Along roadways, glass beverage containers comprised the largest category of litter by weight (24% of total litter)
  • Glass beverage containers also represent a "substantial" portion of litter along interchanges.
  • Since litter quantities were calculated by weight, glass bottles were found to be most significant among beverage containers, but the volume of aluminum and plastic bottles was even greater than that of glass bottles.
  • By weight, beverage containers comprise 14.6% to 31.4% of the litter in Washington, making them the largest or second-largest category of litter on all sites. See Table 5-2, below.

Table showing various materials' composition at different sites. View data in Table 5-2 of Washington Litter Study PDF linked elsewhere on this page.

More about beverage containers and litter


All information on this page was derived from Washington State Department of Ecology Solid Waste & Financial Assistance Program, Washington State Litter Study, Volume Two – Litter Generation and Composition Report. May 2000


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