- Results highlight the need to build on the ongoing work – to tackle litter pollution right across Ireland
- Cigarettes continue to be the biggest litter scourge
- Chewing gum litter is vastly reduced
Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, with responsibility for the Circular Economy and Communications, Ossian Smyth, announced the publication of the National Litter Pollution Monitoring System (NLPMS) results for 2021, which show that we must keep the pressure on for a cleaner and litter-free Ireland.
The National Litter Pollution Monitoring System is an environmental management tool that enables Local Authorities to tackle litter more effectively, by providing a framework for consistent and accurate self-assessment. The results provide important statistical data on the extent, causes and make-up of litter in Ireland. This, in turn, means that Local Authorities can manage litter pollution in a systematic and structured way.
The National Litter Pollution Monitoring System results for 2021 reveal that:
the percentage of unpolluted (LPI 1) and slightly polluted (LPI 2) areas combined has decreased slightly (by 0.5%) from 2020 to 2021, showing a slight overall increase in national litter pollution from 2020 to 2021
grossly polluted areas (LPI 5) have decreased from 0.5% in 2020 to 0.3% in 2021
The main constituent elements of litter pollution nationwide in 2021 were:
cigarette-related litter (48.4%)
packaging items (20.4%)
food-related litter (11.2%)
sweet-related litter (8.7%)
The main causative factors of litter pollution nationally were identified as follows:
passing pedestrians (40.9%)
passing motorists (22.4%)
retail outlets (8.3%)
gathering points (6.2%)
schools / school children (4.6%)
The Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications continues to promote and support a number of environmental awareness-raising programmes. These include the Green Schools Programme, aimed at educating young people, and the Anti-Litter, Anti-Graffiti Grants Schemes for local communities (operated by Local Authorities). In addition, the department supports work undertaken by local groups – through sponsorship of An Taisce’s National Spring Clean.