Two Clare communities have recorded improvements in the latest litter survey by business group Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL).
In the space of twelve months, Doolin Pier has gone from a perceived litter blackspot to ‘moderately littered’. Lahinch Beach now falls into the same category having been labelled ‘littered’ in 2018.
An Taisce’s environmental education unit monitored beaches, harbours, rivers and their immediate environs over the summer months. Their findings on Doolin noted, “This site featured in the media coverage surrounding last year’s results due to the very heavy levels of litter. This year things had improved considerably, including the installation of shiny new bins for the separation of litter. Cigarette butts were particularly prevalent at the queue for the ferry perhaps they were present to the same degree last year but were overshadowed by the myriad of other items last year. The provision of cigarette butt units could make a difference here”.
According to the report on Lahinch, “The overall impression created at Lahinch was a positive one and an improvement on the 2018 survey. There were several opportunities for separating waste throughout the area surveyed, a welcome addition to any heavily used environment. The main litter items were food wrappers, chewing gum and cigarette butts as well as sea borne items on the north end of the beach e.g. cans and plastic bottles. Some marine litter items included fishing nets, pieces of wood, string and rope”.
Once again Salthill emerged as one of the cleanest beaches, alongside Curracloe in Wexford and Seapoint in Dublin. The River Barrow in Carlow Town, Cork Harbour near Midleton and the River Tolka in Dublin were pinpointed as heavily littered.
“Our regular surveys consistently show 80% of our towns to be clean. We cannot say the same for our beaches and waterways. For us as a business group this is about protecting tourism and our recreational assets, but it is equally about global impact and our future, the litter we encounter in these areas will typically enter our seas and add to the problem of marine litter, which is threatening our very survival,” Conor Horgan of IBAL commented.
IBAL have conducted surveys of towns and cities since 2002, this was the second year this was extended to coastal areas and waterways.