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Recreation and culture

Recreation and culture

Confetti People releasing balloons People dumping food waste People dumping food waste General littering Unsecured decorations and packaging Unsecured decorations and packaging

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This waste pollution may result from:

  • confetti—both paper and plastic
  • people releasing balloons
  • people dumping food waste
  • general littering
  • unsecured decorations and packaging, such as for Halloween and Christmas.

A large amount of waste pollution comes from events and recreation areas. Events include concerts in public parks, weddings, birthday parties, parades, balloon releases and religious festivals. Although councils clean up public spaces, a lot of litter gets blown away by the wind or washed away by stormwater.

Halloween is a good example of a festival where a great amount of plastic decorations may be dislodged by strong winds. Such unintentional littering can have wide-ranging impacts on human and animal health.

Releasing balloons in Queensland is considered littering whether it is deliberate or accidental. Balloons can end up hundreds of kilometres away, causing great harm to the environment and wildlife. Balloons are deadly to marine life and birds—ingesting them is 32 times more likely than hard plastic to result in death[1]. Suggestions on balloons replacements (such as bubbles) can be found here.

Waste in the recreation and culture sector moves through the environment via four pathways:


  1. ^ Roman, LH, Hardesty, BD, Hindell, M & Wilcox, C (2019), A quantitative analysis linking seabird mortality and marine debris ingestion.

Last updated: 10 May 2021

This page should be cited as:

Department of Environment, Science and Innovation, Queensland (2021) Recreation and culture, WetlandInfo website, accessed 18 March 2024. Available at:

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment, Science and Innovation