More support for clean-ups urged
Government must do more to encourage a private sector initiative aimed at cleaning up main routes across Ireland, an anti-litter group has said.
Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) made the call as it launched its annual litter league for town and cities.
IBAL accused the coalition of failing to support an "Adopt a Road" scheme, which would see businesses sponsor clean-ups along national routes.
IBAL chairman Dr Tom Cavanagh noted that the initiative had been successful in other nations.
"Encouraging the private sector to finance the clean-up of main routes is a well-established concept in other countries," he said.
"We should have it here - many of our roadsides suffer from litter and the county councils have no funds from the NRA (National Roads Authority) to remedy this. Fine Gael were calling for such schemes when in opposition. Now that they are really needed, there's a clear lack of commitment to them."
Dr Cavanagh said there were localised road sponsorship efforts in Ireland, and pointed to one involving Ballymaloe Foods near Midleton, Cork.
But he said a national approach was necessary.
"There is support at a local authority level, but Adopt a Road needs to be driven by central government nationally to have any impact," said Dr Cavanagh. "It's about finding businesses to fund it on a scale that will cover large tracts of our national road network."
This year is the 12th IBAL Litter League. Forty-two towns and cities across Ireland will be monitored for cleanliness levels over the course of the year. Last year 80% were found to be as clean as or cleaner than the European norm, with Kilkenny being deemed the cleanest. New entrants for 2013 include Leixlip, Midleton, Newbridge and Blackpool/Shandon in Cork.