Footy fans urged to Ditch the Flick

Footy fans urged to Ditch the Flick


Minister for the Environment Meaghan Scanlon said the campaign is all about protecting the Great Barrier Reef.
“We love our footy in Queensland, and we love our Reef, so it’s great to see these passions come together this weekend,” Ms Scanlon said.

“While small in size, cigarette butts have a big impact on the environment, so we’re asking smokers to ditch the flick and make a big impact on the health of our Reef.”
“We want to we make sure that cigarette litter from fans doesn’t end up flowing down Ross River into the Reef.
“The initiative comes just days after the release of the Reef Water Quality Report Card 2019 which showed a record rate of improvement in the amount of nutrient run-off flowing from farms to the Great Barrier Reef.
“But there is always more work to be done – and we all have a part to play.
Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said no-one loves the Reef more than locals, and this is another way we can show it.
 “We’re lucky enough to have one of the world’s most extraordinary natural wonders right on our doorstep and this is another great way to protect it.
“Targeted signage is being installed around the stadium, and permanent and mobile cigarette butt bins are being rolled out as well.
“Congratulations to Queensland Country Bank Stadium for introducing these initiatives which are all about making it as easy as possible for smokers to do the right thing.
The ReefClean campaign is run by the Tangaroa Blue Foundation, an Australia-wide not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the removal and prevention of marine debris.

Foundation CEO Heidi Tait said marine debris was one of the major environmental issues worldwide but could be easily be improved with commitment and education. 

“Single-use plastic is plaguing the Great Barrier Reef and research shows cigarette butts are one of the many items of single-use plastic litter impacting our waterways,” Ms Tait said. 
“Up to 40,000 pieces of plastic are estimated to float in every square kilometre of ocean and each piece is a risk to the health of the ecosystem as well as the tourism industries which rely on them,” she said.
“We know that even when cigarette butt bins are available, smokers continue to flick cigarette butts so a big part of this campaign is educating smokers about what it is they’re flicking and the sort of impacts it can have once it hits our waterways.”

  • Over 6,200 cigarette butts were removed during 2020 alone during a City of Townsville stormwater drain project and ReefClean monitoring events.

  • Over 75% of what is removed from our beaches is made of plastic.

  • 800 Species worldwide including 77 Australian species are impacted by marine debris.

For more information about ReefClean and the Australian Marine Debris Initiative, visit
For more information about events at the stadium, visit

Media contact:
Queensland Country Bank Stadium -
Tangaroa Blue - Heidi Tait / CEO / Ph: 0410166684