Littering is first and foremost a matter of individual responsibility and compliance with the law. The primary remit of my Department in relation to littering is to provide the legislative framework, which is then managed and enforced principally by the Local Authorities. The latest figures available from my Department’s National Litter Pollution Monitoring System, a system designed to monitor the extent, severity and composition of litter nationally, demonstrate that the litter situation is generally continuing to improve across the country. It is vital that communities, businesses and Local Authorities in towns all across Ireland, work together to manage waste properly and to combat litter.
In recognition of the challenges presented by littering, my Department encourages a multi-facetted approach, incorporating public awareness and education as well as effective enforcement. In this context, my Department supports a number of national anti-litter initiatives including the Anti-Litter Awareness Grant Scheme, the National Spring Clean, the Projected Uplands and Rural Environments (PURE) Project, the Green Schools Programme, the Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) Anti-Litter League, as well as negotiated agreements with the banking and chewing gum industries.
The Department funds these initiatives through the Environment Fund, for which the 2019 allocations are currently under consideration. These initiatives empower those in our communities to tackle the challenges littering creates across our country.