Written Answers. - Litter Pollution.

Jim O'Keeffe


379 Mr. J. O'Keeffe asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government if he will amend the law to enable the public to respond to the commission of littering offences in their presence; and his views on whether there is a further role for the general public in an anti-litter campaign. [27741/01]

Public involvement and support are essential to tackle the problem of litter pollution successfully. Individual members of the public can assist in achieving this objective, first, by not causing litter themselves and, second, by supporting local authority and other action against litter. Public participation already features strongly in a range of relevant initiatives assisted by my Department (including local authority litter education and awareness campaigns, the An Taisce-led National Spring Clean, and the Tidy Towns competition) and will continue to do so. While primary responsibility for enforcement action must lie with local authorities, members of the public can also support them in this work, including by reporting possible offences under litter or other legislation and by giving evidence in legal proceedings as necessary; a number of local authorities have recently introduced free-phone services to facilitate such reporting. In the circumstances, I have no proposals for legislative change along the lines referred to by the Deputy.