Summer beauty spots are being spoiled by vandals illegally dumping litter, the Seanad heard today.
Fly-tipping is still a serious problem despite the best efforts of local authorities, environmental groups and Tidy Towns committees, Government Senator Camillus Glynn said.
“It is very annoying to drive along national roads and see black bags full of litter or even old arm chairs or mattresses thrown on the side of the road.
“We have had several debates on the matter in the House but it merits another given the time of year and the fact that many of our beauty spots are being defaced by mindless vandals dumping litter.”
Seanad leader Mary O’Rourke agreed: “They think they can dump them and get away with it.”
She suggested that litter wardens could try to trace the rubbish back to the offenders through discarded letters or bills.
She added: “In ’Today With Pat Kenny’ there was a feature where reporter Valerie Cox used to inspect black bags.
“If she found letters she would trace them to whoever had dumped them, although it may not always be the proper person.”
Government Senator Tony Kett remarked that one of the best initiatives taken in this area was the imposition of the plastic bag levy, which is now four years old.
“When the levy was introduced in 2002, approximately 90 million plastic bags were sold. That number has been increasing and apparently in 2005 a total of 115 million bags were sold.”
He wondered if there was a need for the Minister for the Environment to re-examine if the 15-cent levy is prohibitive enough and needs to be increased.