The Lord Mayor of Cork launched the Picker Pals programme, which enables children to get directly involved in environmental action through regular litter-picking, with a whole lot of fun stuff involved too....

Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Kieran McCarthy with children from Scoil na Croise Naofa, Mahon, Cork

Imagine a world with no litter and where everyone feels pride in their local area. This is the aim of the Picker Pals programme launched by Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Kieran McCarthy at Scoil na Croise Naofa in Mahon, Cork City.

Thanks to Anti-Dumping Initiative funding from Cork City Council, over 600 children are being given the opportunity to participate in this environmental educational programme that sees children take to the streets with their litter-pickers, to make the world better.

Delivered by the environmental NGO VOICE, Picker Pals provides participating classrooms with a Picker Pack which they take turns to bring home at the weekend and go litter-picking with their families in their local areas.

Now in its 5th year of operation over 33,000 children have taken part and Picker Pals estimates over 450 tonnes have been removed from the environment in Ireland since the programme began in 2019.

The programme embraces storytelling and creativity and motivates children to become young environmentalists through the story of the Picker Pals, who live in Pickerupolis a flying Island in the sky. Interactive content including PickerPals TV available on YouTube brings fun to what can otherwise be seen as a dirty job.

Promoting a sense of pride and community among the citizens of Cork City is something very close to my heart so I am delighted so many schools in the city are taking part in this programme that inspires local environmental stewardship now and into the future for our school children and their families,” said Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Kieran McCarthy at today’s launch.  

With almost 1400 classrooms getting involved again this year, Picker Pals is set for another busy school year. Crucial to the programme’s success is support from teachers like Ms Cooney from Scoil na Croise Naofa. “We did the programme last year and the children really enjoyed it. Plus there is a huge drive in the community of Mahon for TidyTowns currently and we want to help out and encourage responsibility and pride for our children’s local community.”

Tad Kirakowski CEO of VOICE states “VOICE is delighted to be working with CorkCity Council to deliver the Picker Pals programme again this year. This national programme offers a unique way for children and their parents to learn about and engage in environmental action. Working with Cork City we deliver to schools across the city and support Corks' aim to be carbon neutral by 2030"

PickerPals is one of the many projects Cork City Council supports to help keep the city clean.