Read on to see if you agree with 94% of people...

In the relentless fight against environmental pollution, understanding the situation and the specificities of each issue is crucial. An Taisce on behalf of IBAL (Irish Businesses Against Litter) has been running litter surveys for some time now, shedding light on the areas that are litter-free and litter-heavy around Ireland.

By Solene Shirrer and Lyndsey O'Connell

Every year around 40 locations are surveyed and ranked, this year Maynooth scored 1st place (well done Maynooth) and Dublin's Inner City ranked last. Dublin's city center was closely followed by Limerick's inner city. Both areas were characterized by a substantial volume of litter and domestic rubbish, indicating a pressing need for immediate action.

The usual culprits dominate the litter scene, with disposable coffee cups hitting peak COVID levels, cigarette butts persisting, and the ongoing challenge of plastic bottles and cans. Adding to the mix, vapes are swiftly emerging as a noteworthy contributor to the litter problem.

Perception Meets Reality: 93% Identify Litter Trouble

In sync with the An Taisce-IBAL findings, VOICE's survey echoes the public's concern, with a whopping 93% recognising litter as a widespread issue. The real kicker? People aren't just pointing fingers; they know where the problem lies. A staggering 94% peg it on big cities, while 71% feel the heat in their neighborhoods. This perception dropped significantly, to 59% in rural areas, least impacted by litter (while still representing a majority of people).

What are the next steps?

Plastic Bottles and Cans: Public Enemy No. 2 & 3

The litter survey identified plastic bottles and cans as the second and third most encountered items, found in nearly half of the hundreds of sites examined. This revelation serves as a crucial point of intervention for environmental organisations and local communities alike. Luckily after years of lobbying, hard work and involvement from civil society, a significant change is about to start in the form of the incoming Deposit Return Scheme (DRS). VOICE and IBAL anticipate a significant reduction in the prevalence of plastic bottles and cans in next year's litter survey, thanks to the DRS. According to an IBAL spokesperson, the scheme is a 'game-changer' for this type of litter, offering a promising solution to curb the rampant issue of single-use plastic pollution.

Enter the Gamechanger: Deposit Return Scheme (DRS)

After years of civic effort, on the 1st of February, the cavalry is coming – the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS). This gamechanger promises a significant reduction in plastic bottles and cans, dealing a decisive blow to litter pollution.

On Monday we Unveil VOICE's DRS Perception Survey - Get Ready for the Scoop!

Hold onto your hats! We've got more coming your way next week. VOICE's survey on public perception regarding the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) is dropping some truth bombs. Stay tuned on all platforms, because this isn't just about litter – it's about a cleaner, greener future!

Punters at Electric Picnic were excited to avail of VOICE and Tomra's Return Vehicle

Photo Credit: John-Cameron, Unsplash.