Wednesday 18 January 2017

Over 60pc of Ireland polluted with litter

Published 26/09/2016 | 09:44

Litter left in the gutter in Temple Bar. Photo: Tony Gavin
Litter left in the gutter in Temple Bar. Photo: Tony Gavin

Over 60pc of Ireland has been found to be polluted with litter, according to the 2015 National Litter Pollution Monitoring System report.

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While 62.8pc of all areas surveyed were slightly polluted, this is a decrease of 1.6pc on 2014 levels.

The percentages of “significantly polluted” and “grossly polluted areas” both increased with changes in each case of 0.6pc and 0.1pc respectively when compared to 2014 results.

Minister for the Environment Denis Naughten appealed to smokers and chewing gum users to dispose of cigarette butts and chewing gum in bins and not on the street as he reveals they’re the biggest cause of pollution in Ireland.

Cigarette related litter (59.8pc), food related litter (gum) (12.4pc), packaging litter (11.95pc), sweet related litter (7.22pc) were identified as the main constituents of litter nationally.

Minister Naughten announced the 10th year of the ‘Bin it!’ campaign which is aimed at students and explores littering and social responsibility.

“While the Litter Pollution Report demonstrates year on year that Ireland is improving its environment with respect to litter, it is imperative that people play their part in keeping their road, neighbourhood and county litter free, or reducing the litter problem where it exists. It is about having pride in our communities and taking personal responsibility for our actions," he said.

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