Fall in nationwide litter levels but Dublin needs wider ‘clean up’

by Rachel Cunningham
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Dublin is rated the 7th most talent competitive city in the world.

Cleanliness levels nationwide improved by six per cent in 2022, although improvements are needed in Dublin.

The final litter survey of 2022 by business group Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) highlighted that, despite improvements in Dublin City Centre, North Inner City and Tallaght, Crumlin and the Dublin Airport Environs were the only areas in the capital to be deemed ‘clean’.

While cleaner than 12 months ago, Ballymun fell back to the status of ‘littered’ in the survey, which was carried out by An Taisce on behalf of IBAL.

Plastic bottle and cans featured in one third of the 500-plus sites surveyed, second only to sweet wrappers as a source of litter.

IBAL stated that the prevalence of plastic bottles and cans in the study strengthens the case for the impending deposit return scheme.

The scheme, which is due to be introduced this year, will see consumers paying a deposit that they can reclaim when they return their containers to a retailer or other collection point.

“Based on this data, the scheme is sorely needed and stands to rid our streets of a significant amount of litter. The same applies to the proposed coffee cup levy,” said Conor Horgan, spokesperson for IBAL.

While there was a fall in the prevalence of coffee cups, they made up 25 per cent of sites surveyed.

Cigarette butts also proved to be a persistent form of litter.

“We welcome the announcement that cigarette manufacturers will now be contributing to the cost of clean-up but we really need to see preventative measures, such as widespread butt disposal facilities alongside innovative packaging which can store butts,” said Mr Horgan.

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