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  • Northside East

Northside beaches named in litter survey

Tuesday, 21st August, 2018 1:00pm
Northside beaches named in litter survey

The beach in Portmarnock was deemed to be ‘moderately littered’. FILE PHOTO/DARREN KINSELLA

Northside beaches named in litter survey

The beach in Portmarnock was deemed to be ‘moderately littered’. FILE PHOTO/DARREN KINSELLA

THERE was bad news for a number of North Dublin beaches last week.

The first nationwide survey of Ireland’s rivers, beaches and harbours by Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) found that 40 percent were littered or heavily littered, including the River Tolka and Balbriggan. Skerries and Portmarnock beaches were deemed to be ‘moderately littered’. 

The overall results contrast with those of IBAL’s recent surveys of towns across the country which show 75 percent of areas to be clean, compared to just eight percent in this survey. 

Commenting on the findings, Conor Horgan of IBAL said: “Sadly, accumulations of litter in and around our waterways are a common sight in Ireland and this is borne out by these results. If we can call our towns clean, we cannot say the same for the areas around our beaches and rivers. 

“It took almost 10 years of naming and shaming for local authorities to get to grips with litter in our towns. IBAL has set about pushing for a similar turnabout in respect of coastal areas and waterways.” 

IBAL has been publishing litter surveys since 2002 as part of its Anti-Litter League programme, which has helped bring about a spectacular shift in litter levels. 

Sixteen years ago, less than 10 percent of the towns surveyed were deemed ‘clean’. However, the most recent report shows three-quarters of towns attaining clean status.

The most common forms of litter found by the assessors were cigarette butts, sweet wrappers, plastic bottles and cans. 

“The objective of this new campaign is to rid our coasts and waterways of litter as they are central to the country’s appeal to visitors and an integral part of the clean image we project,” Mr Horgan added. “Our research also brings into focus the broader issue of marine litter and the need to stem the vast amounts of plastic and other litter which is entering and killing our oceans.

 “We are a small island and often subject to wet and windy weather. When someone casually drops a plastic bottle or cigarette butt on the street, the likelihood of it being blown into a local river or swept into a drain to then enter the sea is very high. 

“This litter isn’t just unsightly, it is contributing to lasting, potentially irreparable damage to our planet. This is the new face of litter.” 

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here