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17/10/2021

Incredible amount of litter cleared in Offaly as part of major clean-up operation

750kg of litter cleared in Offaly as part of major clean-up operation

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An incredible amount of itter was cleared up in Offaly last weekend as part of a nationwide clean-up operation.

A total of 750kg was cleared.

After a break in 2020, the Big Beach Clean took place and Clean Coasts were overwhelmed with the incredible support and commitment shown by communities across Ireland. Even in inland counties like Offaly, clean-ups took place.

This year, thanks to the support of the An Taisce National Spring Clean programme, Clean Coasts opened registrations to residents of non-coastal counties too. The reason behind this is that according to recent studies, 70% of marine litter is originated inland in towns and cities. Litter dropped inland can make its way through our waterways all the way to the coast.

Offaly saw a huge response with 125 volunteers organising clean-ups in Cappincur and Rahan and collecting 750kg of litter.

The Big Beach Clean is an annual call to action that takes place in September at the end of the bathing season. Volunteers around Ireland were asked to register their clean up event and take part in a worldwide citizen science project, as part of the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC), operated internationally by Ocean Conservancy.

This year, a record number of over 400 clean-ups were organised by volunteers who removed 42 tonnes of litter across the country. In addition, more volunteers joined clean-ups facilitated by Clean Coasts officers in 8 different locations around Ireland. 

Statistics show that the number one cause of marine litter is litter dropped in towns and cities. Thanks to the involvement of An Taisce National Spring Clean programme, the Big Beach Clean was open to all residents of Ireland, including non-coastal counties, who contributed to the problem of marine litter at its source.

Sinead McCoy, Coastal Communities Manager, said: “After a break in 2020 due to Covid, we were excited to host the Big Beach Clean again, but we didn’t know what to expect. This year there was a significant increase in clean-ups organised, but in a different format: we saw more people registering for clean-ups as individuals or within their household.”

Sinead continued: “This year, there was an over 5% decrease in litter found across Ireland. Overall this is an incredible improvement. The work that Irish volunteers do all year round to tackle litter and less waste dropped by more conscious beach users mean that we are heading in the right direction!”

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