An Aussie man has hit out at a “selfish just-married couple” for tossing “a million pieces of rubbish” into the air while celebrating their nuptials.
Dean Wilson told Yahoo News Australia he found the confetti littered throughout the Whalers Tunnel, located under the Roundhouse — and very close to the ocean — in Fremantle, Western Australia, on Saturday afternoon after spotting a limousine across the street, with the happy couple sitting inside.
In a series of images shared to a local Facebook group on Sunday, numerous pieces of gold and silver metallic confetti can be seen scattered across the sand in the tunnel, and what appears to be in nearby bushland.
“Some of them are the size of a match head and they shine just like scales of a fish might if you get my drift,” Dean said, sharing his fears it was making its way into “gardens” and “ocean”. “It's selfish and disappointing to see, especially these days with so much in the news about animals suffering due to litter. Makes me angry.”
The Fremantle resident also posted an image of him collecting handfuls of the confetti, and revealed the city’s rangers are “going to look into it”. He told Yahoo the ranger said she would take a look and get back to him, but Dean claims the confetti remained scattered in the area as of Monday.
Confetti toss 'disrespectful and stupid'
Aussies were quick to agree with Dean’s outrage, arguing the negative effects of confetti on wildlife and the ocean have been widely-known for a long time, with the WA government banning balloon releases — including those labelled “compostable” or “biodegradable” — in January, 2022.
Instead, locals are encouraged to use bubbles, kite displays or a confetti toss made with natural materials like petals when celebrating big events.
“Being ignorant is not a excuse… we have banned single-use plastics here now for years,” one social media user commented. “I can’t imagine anyone I know thinking this is an OK thing and leave it there without cleaning it up. Not to mention it’s a significant site… disrespectful and stupid.”
“It's well known about the damage it does to wildlife and the ocean. It’s rude to nature not to pick up your rubbish,” another said, noting many wedding venues no longer allow confetti tosses. “So they used it on public spaces instead just for photos. No excuses please.”
When one woman questioned if the confetti was biodegradable, Dean said he had a piece of it in a glass of water for two days “and it has not deteriorated at all”.
“That’s littering. Might be their special day and I wish them all best. But surely a bit of thinking beforehand would have prevented this as it’s in a public space, and so close to the ocean. They could’ve so easily used beautiful leaves and non-dyed paper confetti,” someone else said.
$200 fine for individuals found to be littering
Australia’s plastic problem is only getting worse, with a new report released by the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) last week revealing if Woolworths, Coles, Aldi and IGA are taking responsibility for the problem.
“Almost every species of marine wildlife has encountered plastic, and scientists have observed negative impacts in almost 90% of assessed marine species,” the report says. “Animals that ingest marine plastic can face significant harm, and for a range of animals, such as seabirds and turtles, even ingesting one piece of plastic can be enough to cause severe damage.”
Littering — the improper disposal of any waste products on land or water — can cost an individual a $200 fine. The maximum penalty for littering offences for an individual is $5,000, according to Keep Australia Beautiful WA.
Yahoo News Australia has contacted the City of Fremantle for comment.