About 200 backpackers were allegedly gathered at an illegal beach party in Byron Bay last month. Pictured is a pile of rubbish left at Belongil Beach following the Boxing Day party. Picture: Supplied
About 200 backpackers were allegedly gathered at an illegal beach party in Byron Bay last month. Pictured is a pile of rubbish left at Belongil Beach following the Boxing Day party. Picture: Supplied

Trashing our beaches can cost you dearly

If you trash Byron's beaches, you could be up for a hefty fine.

This is the message Byron Shire Council is sending as staff embark on a litter blitz.

The effort has been supported by funding from the NSW Environmental Protection Authority.

It will see the council undertake a litter enforcement blitz along the beaches and foreshore areas until mid March.

If you litter or smoke on the beaches, you will be fined up to $250.

"Both littering and smoking on Byron's beaches is illegal and our strong message to the community and to our visitors is that it will not be tolerated," the council's waste education and compliance officer, Zoe White said.

"We know that litter can have detrimental effects on local wildlife, especially marine life as items such as cigarette butts and plastic can take several years to break down in the marine environment and be easily ingested.

"So the message is simple - put all your rubbish in the bin, especially cigarette butts that account for 82 per cent of our litter in the shire and are harmful to the environment.

"We have even installed special butt bins around the shire.

"The butts are safely secured and can even be recycled into new products."

The council has urged people to take responsibility for their own litter, use the bins provided where possible and do not smoke on the beach.