Drink containers make up 44 per cent of all litter across the state and will be the main item collected during Clean Up Australia Day this Sunday.
In South Australia, where there is a successful deposit collection scheme, drink containers make up just 2.2 per cent of all litter.
These drink containers have a detrimental impact on the local environment and a group called the Boomerang Alliance is trying to eradicate the problem.
The alliance is a coalition of more than 30 environmental groups, including large organisations such as Greenpeace, the Total Environment Centre and Clean Up Australia, as well as small community groups such as the Scouts.
“Count just how many bottles you collect this weekend,” Nathaniel Pelle from Greenpeace said.
“Every year eight million tonnes of plastic ends up in the environment worldwide.
“It is staggering.”
The alliance is pushing to see a drink container deposit scheme launched in NSW to both reduce waste and help small community groups like the Scouts raise money.
“These groups can make money from collecting the bottles while substantially reducing litter,” he said.
One man who remembers the days of collecting bottles to get a cash refund is Maitland mayor Peter Blackmore.
As a young Scout member his group used a similar deposit scheme to raise funds for their trips.
“It is also how I used to get my admission price for the football,” Cr Blackmore said.
“As a young person you would cash in the bottles for pocket monty – we were entrepreneurial.”
Cr Blackmore said he would support a deposit scheme in Maitland because it would help with litter and teach young people social and financial skills.
Scouts do their part for environment
A group of Thornton Scouts rolled up their sleeves and got stuck in early for Clean Up Australia Day.
The 2nd Thornton Scout Group group cleaned up the hall grounds on Government Road, Taylor Avenue and the busy Thornton shops.
“We also cleaned up the cricket grounds behind our scout hall and the Thornton skate park,” group leader Kylie McClelland said.
“We have participated in Clean Up Australia Day in this area for around six years.
“We chose to participate to help clean up our local community.”
The group got stuck in to the clean up one week early because they already had a camp planned for the weekend of March 5 and 6.
“All up we collected eight bags of rubbish and six bags of recycling.”she said.
“Unfortunately the most common piece of rubbish we collected were bottles, both intact and smashed.”
Their community spirit was rewarded when the group discovered a wallet and then tracked down the owner.
They were given a $50 reward for the efforts.
“Clean Up Australia Day is important to us so we have a clean community, to teach the Joeys, Cubs and Scouts about the dangers rubbish can cause our environment and the importance of recycling,” Ms McClelland said.
Clean Up Australia Day is on Sunday March 6.
To register a site or to become a volunteer visit cleanupaustraliaday.org.au online. Or check out the map below to find out where you can volunteer.