'Littering could be halved if cigarette butts were properly disposed of'

'Littering could be halved if cigarette butts were properly disposed of'

Cigarette butts now make up more than half of all our litter.

A report by the National Litter Pollution Monitoring System has found that pedestrians are the worst litterbugs.

The report, published by Environment Minister Richard Bruton, looks at the extent, causes and composition of litter in Ireland.

The report found that the main elements of litter in Ireland are:

  • Cigarette related litter (54.4%)
  • packaging items (18.2%)
  • sweet related litter (9.2%)
  • food related litter (8.9%)
  • paper items (5.8%)
  • deleterious litter (2.1%)

It found that the main causes of little are:

  • Passing pedestrians (42.0%)
  • passing motorists (22.4%)
  • retail outlets (9.4%)
  • gathering points (6.0%)
  • places of leisure/entertainment (4.7%)
  • fast food outlets (3.9%)
  • schools/ school children (3.5%)
  • bus stops (2.6%)
  • fly-tipping/dumping (2.2%)

Mr Bruton stated: "Thinking twice about how we handle waste is the first step to respecting our environment and the planet we inhabit.

"Littering could be halved if cigarette butts were properly disposed of.

We seem to have a blind spot for this behaviour - it is six times more prevalent than sweet papers.

"Overall the survey shows some promising results. We see an increase in unpolluted areas and a decrease in slightly and significantly polluted areas.

"These results are thanks to the vigorous efforts made by individuals, community groups and Local Authorities in keeping their local area clean.

"However we do also see a very slight increase in the amount of grossly polluted areas, with cigarette related litter remaining the largest offender.

"The amount of chewing gum litter has halved since 2016, thanks in no small part to the co-operation between my Department and industry through the Gum Litter Taskforce."

More on this topic

Ireland's 'litter blackspot' revealed as Kilkenny named country's cleanest town Ireland's 'litter blackspot' revealed as Kilkenny named country's cleanest town

More in this Section

CervicalCheck patient support group welcome HSE's rapid reviewCervicalCheck patient support group welcome HSE's rapid review

Doubling amount of ethanol in petrol 'could reduce our carbon emissions'Doubling amount of ethanol in petrol 'could reduce our carbon emissions'

Man's life saved in dramatic rescue off Dublin BayMan's life saved in dramatic rescue off Dublin Bay

People urged 'that little bit more vigilant' when it comes wildfiresPeople urged 'that little bit more vigilant' when it comes wildfires


Lifestyle

This year heralds the return of a much-maligned shade, pulled from the design doldrums and now paired with some unexpected complementary colours, materials and tone-on-tone activity, writes Carol O’Callaghan.Fifty shades of beige

Their romance took Laura Roset and Ken Mohally from Mallow to Moldova and back again.Wedding of the Week: Love spreads from Mallow to Moldova

Every day, I take my wife a cup of tea in bed. However, we sometimes make love in the mornings and she pauses to finish her cup before it goes cold.Sexual healing: Her long tea breaks cools the moment

As the Caped Crusader hits 80 years of protecting Gotham City, Chris Wasser looks at the history of the world’s darkest superhero.80 years on, Batman still packs a punch

More From The Irish Examiner