New phone app tackles litter

Monday, 3 June 2019

Do you ever pick up litter from our beaches and streets during your daily walk?

Your efforts aren’t only keeping our city and towns clean, but will now be used to build a litter profile specific to the Geelong region, thanks to a new phone app.

The LitterStopper app collects data on the type of litter picked up such as plastic bottles, food containers or straws and where it was found like a beach, park or street.

The app is easy to use. Users can either just enter the time, place and total kilograms of litter collected, or complete a full audit using the 24 pre-loaded litter categories.

All data is collated and stored on a database for Victorian litter. A copy can also be submitted to the Australian Marine Debris initiative (AMDI) for inclusion in a national litter database.

More recently, the app is being used to compile a log of the locations, types and amounts of litter found in Port Philip Bay and the Geelong coastline.

The app was designed by environmental engineer, Ross Headifen the co-founder of BeachPatrol, a volunteer movement that coordinates clean-up activities across Port Philip Bay.

Beach Patrol has 30 groups dotted around Port Philip Bay, plus recently established groups in Geelong and Portarlington.

The BeachPatrol concept is expanding into residential neighbourhoods through the Love our Street initiative, where residents can clean a local street. There are currently 15 Love our Street groups.

BeachPatrol and Love Our Street volunteers commit to spending one hour every month picking up litter, either in organised group activities or individually.

Any data they enter through the litter app can be viewed at

“The app lets people see their efforts in picking up litter don’t go unnoticed,” Ross said.

“It also allows sites to be compared making it easier to identify litter hotspots. This information can then be used to develop future education campaigns to reduce littering.”

Page last updated: Wednesday, 5 June 2019