Mr. Phil Hogan, T.D., Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, has announced the launch of a new national anti-litter advertising campaign in the print media. The advertising campaign is a result of an initiative between the Department and the newspaper and magazine industry,
The print media, represented by National Newspapers of Ireland (NNI), NNI Local & Regional, the Regional Newspapers and Printers Association of Ireland (RNPAI) and Magazines Ireland, will be making available, free of charge, €500,000 worth of advertising space in order to raise awareness of the damaging effects fly tipping and small scale illegal dumping have on our environment and. our economy, particularly on the tourism and agriculture sectors. Advertisements will appear in national, regional and local newspapers and magazines over the course of the peak summer period, highlighting the impact of illegal dumping and providing information for people to report illegal dumping activity to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA)’s locall number 1850 365 121.
Minister Hogan in launching the campaign stated, “I am committed to providing support for anti-litter initiatives, both from an awareness and an enforcement perspective, in order to ensure that our country presents itself in the best manner possible. This campaign has been developed by my Department in conjunction with the local authorities, the EPA and Fáilte Ireland and I would like to thank each of the participating agencies for their involvement. In particular, I wish to express my appreciation to the NNI, the NNI L&R, the RNPAI and Magazines Ireland, both for making the advertising space available and for the proactive approach they have adopted with my Department in developing the campaign. I would also like to thank Brindley Advertising for their role in the development of the advertisement”.
The Minister continued, “In support of this campaign, I recently announced the provision of €750,000 to local authorities under a new Litter Enforcement Grant Scheme, aimed at tackling the problems of fly tipping and small scale illegal dumping, through measures such as the use of CCTV. This will help ensure that local authorities are in a position to respond to those who use the helpline by reporting individuals engaging in this anti-social behaviour. It is crucial that we continue to foster an attitude amongst all our citizens that littering and fly tipping are unacceptable and that we create an awareness of the damaging effects these actions have on our environment, on society generally, and particularly on our economy and I would urge everyone to use the helpline to stamp out the blight of fly-tipping.”
Paddy Mathews, Destination Development Manager of Fáilte Ireland added, “Our world famous scenery is the bedrock and raw material of tourism in Ireland. Litter is incredibly damaging to our landscape and yet it is entirely avoidable. It costs Ireland millions of Euros each year to clean up after those that dispose of litter irresponsibly and it puts our reputation as a clean, green holiday destination at serious and significant risk”.
The Minister also took the opportunity to announce the publication of the 2011 National Litter Pollution Monitoring System Report. The System provides important statistical data about the extent, causes and composition of litter in Ireland.
Minister Hogan welcomed the publication of the 2011 National Litter Pollution Monitoring System Report saying that, “The report shows that litter levels across the country continue to improve, with over 76% of areas surveyed in 2011 demonstrating a high level of cleanliness. These are the best results achieved since monitoring began in 2002, when only 48% of areas surveyed achieved this level, and indicate that the existing anti-litter measures in place across the country are working. I would particularly like to thank both the local authorities and the many community groups across the island for all their hard work. However, despite the improvement we cannot afford to become complacent, we must all strive to ensure that these improvements are maintained despite more challenging economic circumstances. I am confident that measures such as the advertising campaign launched will contribute towards an on going decrease in litter levels across the country.”