Canberrans are a bunch of tossers – at least, according to the National Litter Index.
Walk around the ACT and the annual Keep Australian Beautiful report says you'll find around 3.69 litres of litter and an average of 37 items per square kilometre.
Keep Australia Beautiful's national executive officer Peter McLean said nearly half of the litter items recorded were cigarette butts and the most frequent dumping grounds were around retail areas – which, rather ironically, have the most bins.
"This bucks the trend, usually the more bins you have in an area the less litter you're likely to see," Mr McLean said.
"People get lazy and their priorities change in retail areas, they're distracted by advertising and sales. These are also highly visited areas, and more people consuming means more rubbish."
More worryingly, Mr McLean believes it's the retail area's clean-up crews which are enabling people to become complacent.
"Even though there's a huge amount of litter, there are also permanent maintenance crews. It makes people unaware of where their litter goes and when they're in less built-up areas it becomes a problem."
Rolf Hartley is the chief judge in the ACT Sustainable Cities Awards.
He said there's a dichotomy emerging with what people choose to trash and toss.
"I get a bit disappointed when I see people who no longer want their barbecue or furniture and drop it on the nature strip and won't take it to landfill. At the same time I'm seeing people become more socially conscious when it comes to small litter," he said.
"I'd like people to understand it's their responsibility to manage their litter. Everyone should be responsible for what they generate."
Mr McLean said there's a belief that tossing small plastics and cigarette butts are negligible and he wants to assure us that's not the case.
He said plastics in particular work their way into our river systems and oceans and are ingested by animals all the way up the food chain – including us.
"We're now eating our own plastic," Mr McLean said.
"We need to change people's mindsets to every little bit counts."
The good news is the volume of litter in the ACT has halved in the last decade.
And compared to our NSW neighbours, with 9.33 litres of rubbish per square kilometre, our region is almost pristine.
Mr McLean reckons if we keep canning our rubbish, the ACT could be on its way to becoming the first litter-free state in Australia.
"The reduction in litter in the ACT is worth celebrating. Those small improvements year-to-year make a big difference," he said.
Keep Australia Beautiful Week runs from August 24 to 30.