There are few aspects of life and society that litter does not affect.
Litter makes an area look dirty and uncared for, unpleasant to be in and less likely to be used by the public. The equation is simple - littered places attract more litter, while people are less likely to litter in clean areas.
Litter dropped in streets travels into waterways through the stormwater system, and ultimately pollutes land and ocean environments. Litter harms animals when they take it as food, or become entangled in it.
Sharp, protruding edges from broken bottles, aluminium cans and similar items can cause damage and injury, especially in activity areas such as playgrounds, beaches, pathways and sporting areas.
Financially, litter and street sweeping services alone cost Victorian local governments $94 million per year (Victorian Local Government Annual Survey 2012-13).
Much of litter is recyclable, and when these items become litter they are also a lost resource, going to landfill instead of being recovered and recycled.