03 Dec 2021

Town in Donegal featured in IBAL litter study praised for 'a lovely feature' at several sites

PPE litter still on the increase across the country

face mask litter

Face masks and other PPE add to the litter problems nationwide

Buncrana has been ranked 21st out of 40 in the latest Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) litter surveys carried out by An Taisce.

It was the only town in Co Donegal to be included in the most recent survey.

The An Taisce report for Buncrana reads: “A good showing from the Donegal town in high season. 

“Mini Bee Gardens were very much a feature at some of the survey sites within Buncrana eg, Upper Main Street, Buncrana GAA and the Tourist Office - a lovely feature and some wonderful planting associated with them.  

“Inishowen Tourist Office grounds were very welcoming and Upper Main Street was attractively presented, with all aspects in good condition.  

“One of the most heavily littered sites  was the Bring Centre at SuperValu – it wasn’t just casually littered but bedding / clothing had been discarded.  

“A second poor site was Miscellaneous Laneway between Ardaravan Centre and Brennan’s Pharmacy: (shopping centre, Dr Denis McLaughlin Road) – it was very heavily littered.”

Overall, the most recent IBAL results show a general improvement nationally, particularly in towns. However, the country’s main cities had worsened to levels not seen in 10 years. Furthermore, the study found no fall-off in PPE litter across the country.

IBAL’s Conor Horgan said: “With local authority cleaning schedules normalising again and volunteer groups re-engaged in clean-ups across the country, our towns are almost as clean as two years ago. This is still some way short of where they were in 2014, however.”    

The study showed an increase of almost 30% in the prevalence of PPE masks on streets and an increase in alcohol-related litter such as cans and bottles. 

“The need for PPE has not abated,” said Mr Horgan. “Unfortunately we’re still using disposable masks, we’re still dropping them at an alarming rate and they are still not being picked up. 

“We are consuming more outdoors and this is translating into more food- and drink-related litter.” 

Despite this, the survey showed a 20% drop in coffee cup litter. There was also a steep fall-off in cigarette butts.

Portlaoise was found to be the cleanest town, followed closely by Leixlip and Ennis.

At the other end of the table, Dublin’s north inner city was deemed a litter blackspot. 

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