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Minister Naughten appeals to smokers and chewing gum users to dispose of cigarette butts and chewing gum in bins and not on the street as he reveals the 2015 National Litter Pollution Report

​​monday, september 26th 2016

mr. denis naughten, t.d., minister for communications, climate action and environment, today (26 september 2016) announced the publication of the 2015 national litter pollution monitoring system report.  the report provides data on the extent, causes and composition of litter in ireland.  it shows cigarettes and chewing gum are the main items littering our streets.

in announcing the publication of the 2015 report, the minister acknowledged the important role being played by local authorities and local communities in tackling ireland's litter problem.  the minister noted the mainly encouraging results and said that he was generally pleased with the progress made to date though challenges remain in grossly polluted locations in disadvantaged urban areas. 

"while the litter pollution report demonstrates year on year that ireland is improving its environment with respect to litter, it is imperative that people play their part in keeping their road, neighbourhood and county litter free, or reducing the litter problem where it exists. it is about having pride in our communities and taking personal responsibility for our actions."

in summary the 2015 national litter pollution monitoring system report reveals:

  • cigarette related litter (59.8%), food related litter (gum) (12.4%), packaging litter (11.95%), sweet related litter (7.22%) and were identified as the main constituents of litter nationally.

causative factors

  • passing pedestrians (40.1%), passing motorists (18.1%), retail outlets (10.4%), places of leisure and entertainment (5.1%), gathering points (7.9%), schools/school children (5.3%) and fast food outlets (4.4%) were identified as the main causative factors of litter nationally.

the minister complimented groups active in the fight against litter pointing out that "while my department provides funding for various initiatives, including the annual an taisce national spring clean, it is the efforts made by local authorities, community and business groups which are telling at local level. today (monday 26th) i am launching a nationwide schools' campaign called bin it to educate and raise student awareness of littering. 'bin it' is a key element of the gum litter taskforce (glt) education campaign which includes outdoor poster, tv and online advertising."

the launch in castlerea community school, roscommon announces plans for an actor-led workshop for secondary schools across 26 local authority areas. the workshop is geared towards first year students and explores littering and social responsibility. this is the 10th year of the 'bin it!' campaign and to date over 39,218 students have taken part, with 6,324 attending the workshop in 2015 alone.

summary 2015 national litter pollution monitoring system report

  • there has been an increase in the number of areas surveyed deemed to be litter free from 12.3% in 2014 to 16.4% in 2015, the highest level ever achieved;
  • 62.8% of all areas surveyed were slightly polluted, a decrease of 1.6% on 2014 levels;
  • the percentage of areas deemed to be moderately polluted fell by 3.2% to 19.9% when compared to 2014 results for the same category;
  • the percentages of significantly polluted and grossly polluted areas both increased with changes in each case of 0.6% and 0.1% respectively when compared to 2014 results;



Press Release Documents



2015 National Litter Pollution Report Report 2015.compressed.pdf2015 National Litter Pollution Report24/09/2016 23:00:00pdf3299084