The first nationwide survey by business group Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) of Ireland’s rivers, beaches and harbours has revealed that the River Moy in Ballina is ‘moderately littered’.

While Salhill in Galway and the river Shannon at Carrick on Shannon were two of only four locations nationwide in this study that were Clean to European Norms

The study of beaches, harbours, rivers and their immediate environs, carried out by An Taisce, showed only 4 of 50 areas surveyed were deemed “Clean to European Norms”. Almost 40% were littered or heavily littered, with some areas in Cork Harbour and Doolin Pier in Clare classified as litter blackspots.

 

The river Corrib in Galway city was  like the river Moy in Ballina was deemed Moderately Littered as was the river Garravogue in Sligo town and both Kinvara and Loughrea

 

The An Taisce report for the River Moy reads: “As well as some building materials there were scattered collections of litter - e.g. food and beverage related litter and some dog fouling (all land based).  Water based litter included significant numbers of cans, a crutch and a child's buggy.”

The results from this first national survey by IBAL of Ireland’s rivers, beaches and harbours contrast with those of IBAL’s recent surveys of towns across the country which show 75% of areas to be clean, compared to just 8% in this survey.

 Conor Horgan of IBAL says if we can call our towns clean, we cannot say the same for the areas around our beaches and rivers. It took almost ten 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. 16 years ago, less than 10% of the towns surveyed were deemed ‘Clean’. The most recent report shows three-quarters of towns attaining Clean status.

“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. Aside from this commercial motivation, our research 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.”

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

 

 

 

Litter survey – rivers, beaches and harbours*

*areas surveyed comprise waterfront and immediate environs

 

Clean to European norms

 

Kinsale Harbour

Cork

Salthill

Galway

River Shannon (Carrick-on-Shannon)

Leitrim

River Shannon (Lanesboro)

Longford

Moderately littered

 

Ballybunion

Kerry

Ballycotton

Cork

River Blackwater (Fermoy)

Cork

River Blackwater (Youghal)

Cork

River Boyne (Navan)

Meath

Brittas Bay

Wicklow

Cork Harbour (Crosshaven)

Cork

River Corrib (Galway City)

Galway

Curracloe

Wexford

River Dargle (Bray)

Wicklow

Dun Laoghaire

Dublin

River Garravogue (Sligo town)

Sligo

Kilkee

Clare

Killybegs

Donegal

Kilmore Quay

Wexford

Kinvara

Galway

River Laune (Killorglin)

Kerry

Loughrea

Galway

River Moy (Ballina)

Mayo

River Nore (Kilkenny)

Kilkenny

Portmarnock

Dublin

Rosslare Harbour

Wexford

Seapoint

Dublin

River Shannon (Athlone)

Westmeath

River Shannon (Foynes)

Limerick

Skerries

Dublin

River Suir (Clonmel)

Tipperary

Tramore

Waterford

Littered

 

River Avoca (Arklow)

Wicklow

Balbriggan

Dublin

River Barrow (Carlow town)

Carlow

Bundoran

Sligo

Dingle

Kerry

Grand Canal Dock, Dublin

Dublin

Lahinch

Clare

River Shannon (Limerick UL)

Limerick

River Slaney (Wexford)

Wexford

Heavily littered

 

Bantry

Cork

River Boyne (Drogheda)

Louth

Clogher Head 

Louth

River Shannon (Portumna)

Galway

River Suir (Waterford City)

Waterford

River Tolka (Annesley Bridge)

Dublin

Litter blackspots

 

Cork Harbour (Ballinacurra, Midleton)

Cork

Cork Harbour (Blackrock Castle)

Cork

Doolin Pier

Clare

 

 

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