Litter still bugs us, even if our towns are cleaner
Four in every 10 people believe that litter is a major concern despite Irish towns being cleaner today than a decade ago.
A survey conducted for Irish Business Against Litter reveals that 61pc of those questioned believe the country is cleaner, but one in five think it is dirtier.
The survey, conducted by the Research Centre, also found that those living in rural villages or towns were more positive about the change in litter levels than those living in cities.
"As towns continue to improve, we are channelling greater attention towards cities where progress has generally been slower, particularly mixed housing areas outside the immediate city centre, which tend to get ignored", said IBAL spokesman Conor Horgan.
The vast majority of the 347 respondents (90pc) said a litter-free environment was important in attracting tourists and shoppers into a town or city, while almost 80pc said it is important in attracting investment into Ireland.
Just over half felt a litter-free image here helped sell Irish food abroad.
In last year's IBAL Litter league, over 80pc of the towns and cities surveyed were deemed to be Clean to European Norms. This compared to just a quarter in 2004.
"Our IBAL surveys over the past decade have shown a dramatic improvement in cleanliness levels, and it is heartening to see the general public is noticing this progress," Mr Horgan added.
"As a business organisation, the belief that a clean environment is important for our economic well-being is at IBAL's core. The results of the Research Centre survey tell us this is also recognised by the public at large. It bears out our contention that clean streets really matter to people."