Twenty years ago we brought our family to this beautiful country to live.
We came here to provide our children with a safe and beautiful place in which they could grow up.
When we were granted citizenship two years later we were so very proud to be called Australian.
Anyone who migrates here will know how hard it is to get a visa to live in this country.
In those days we regarded it as an honour to be accepted here - and a privilege to live here.
We loved the pride Australians had for their country.
On our arrival we were amazed at how little litter there was on the streets, in the parks and on the beaches.
Sadly now this is not the case.
People drop their litter anywhere and everywhere.
Take-away containers, bottles, tins, tissues, wipes and papers litter the streets and gutters and they are pushed into hedges and dropped next to council bins.
Sure, some people pick up the dog poops, but others collect the poop in a bag and then drop the bag and the poop on the ground and others just walk off and leave the mess.
People move house and buy new furniture and take the old stuff out and leave it on the street.
Most people do the right thing but so many people don't.
It breaks my heart to see this lovely country going down the toilet because it is being treated like a toilet.
The government needs to ban plastic bags now.
Third world countries have banned plastic bags and so can we.
Plastic cups, straws, knives, forks and spoons should all be banned and replaced with biodegradable ones.
It should be an offence to supply or use them.
Plastic bottles and cans should have a deposit to encourage recycling and there should be recycling depots in every suburb.
Councils need to provide bins every 30 metres to 50 metres along all major walkways.
Many people will not carry their litter for more than this distance without dropping it.
Takeaways, drive-thru eateries and coffee shops should all be encouraged to use biodegradable items.
They should also provide their own bins which they empty regularly.
Many times they are so full you cannot put your rubbish in them even if you want to.
Property developers should be made to pay a large $15,000 deposit to local councils to cover the cost of removing litter from in and around their work sites.
For car rubbish take a plastic box with you in the car where you can store your refuse until you get home and empty it in your own bin, don't chuck it out the window.
Instead of tissues and wipes, use a hanky, or take a face washer with you to wipe away spills and mess.
Australians new and old, you need to have some respect for your country.
Love and care for the planet and the city you live in. Have regard to other people.
If you would not like to clean up after another person, then why should someone else have to clean up after you?
We all want our children to have a better place to live in than the world we know today.
Start now or your children will inherit a planet that is totally destroyed and a city that resembles a rubbish tip!
Sue Bailey is a Sydney resident.