Operation Clean Drive

New research highlights the prevalence of roadside rubbish with more than half of New Zealanders (58%) admitting to throwing rubbish out of a car window at least once.

The most common type of rubbish thrown onto roadsides was fruit skin, pips or apple cores (49%), and almost 750,000 adult Kiwis (20%) admit to throwing chewing gum out the window, and 16% say they flick cigarette butts from the car.

The survey was conducted by YouGov Research for Avis Budget Group analysing a wide range of travel trends including views about issues such as roadside littering. A further 394,000 Kiwis (10%) admitted to throwing items such as food packaging or plastic out the window.

Coinciding with the findings, Avis Budget Group is launching its new campaign, Operation Clean Drive to help combat the issue. The roadside litter clean up and prevention programme will see Avis Budget Group team members from around the country cleaning up rubbish at popular littering spots in their local areas throughout the year.     

Bruce Vincer, General Manager, New Zealand Avis Budget Group, said the amount of litter on roadsides continues to increase despite most Kiwis being vigilant in the way they dispose of rubbish.     

“The road is Avis Budget Group’s area of expertise and there’s nothing more enjoyable than a road trip to travel around and discover new parts of the country – but roadside litter continues to be a big problem.

“As a company, we wanted to do something about it and Operation Clean Drive is one way our team can give back to their local communities and help clean up the country at the same time.”

The launch of the programme will start with Avis Budget Group’s Christchurch-based team doing the first Operation Clean Drive clean up along The Esplanade at Sumner Beach on September 13. The first Operation Clean Drive event coincides with National Clean Up Week from September 9-15.

Despite bad habits, almost two thirds (64%) of New Zealanders believe more effort needs to be taken to clean up litter on the roadsides, and 7 out of 10 (70%) agree that people should be fined for littering.

Almost three quarters of Kiwis (74%) said educating of tourists about littering, and how to dispose of rubbish while in the country, was a good idea.

While Millennials were the untidiest Kiwis, with almost two thirds (63%) admitting to throwing litter out the car window, they were followed closely by Baby Boomers (59%) and Gen Xers (55%).

Most New Zealanders (69%) were happy with what they do for the environment, however 10% “don’t go out of their way to be environmentally friendly”.