A new poll published by the Irish Businesses Against Litter (IBAL) found that only a shocking seven of the 42 Irish rivers, beaches and harbours studied meet the minimum European standard of cleanliness.
These waterways are:
• Curracloe Beach in Wexford
• Kilmore Quay Harbour in Wexford
• Lough Rea in Galway
• River Nore in Kilkenny
• Salthill Beach in Galway
• Seapoint Beach in Wexford
• River Shannon in Leitrim
The poll reveals that only one in six beaches and rivers meet the minimum European standard of cleanliness.
Three waterways were classified as ‘littered’: the River Avoca in Wicklow, Balbriggan Beach and Harbour in Dublin and Cork Harbour. Three other waterways were classified as ‘heavily littered’, the worst classification on the list, those being: the River Barrow in Carlow, Cork Harbour in Middleton and the River Tolka at Annesley Bridge in Dublin.
As per the findings, the most common forms of litter were food wrappers, plastic bottles, cans and cigarette butts. According to Conor Horgan of IBAL, while 80% of our towns are clean, the same cannot be said of our beaches and waterways.
He continued on to say, “For us as a business group this is about protecting tourism and our recreational assets, but it is equally about global impact and our future – the litter we encounter in these areas will typically enter our seas and add to the problem of marine litter, which is threatening our very survival.”
Not great news for Irish waters.