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Dublin: 2 °C Saturday 21 April, 2018

Cigarettes and chewing gum are still the biggest litter problems in Ireland

Those who litter have been urged to exercise personal responsibility.

Image: Sam Boal/

SMOKERS AND PEOPLE who chew gum have been urged to stop throwing their litter on the ground.

The 2015 National Litter Pollution Monitoring System Report shows that cigarette litter and gum are the two most common causes of litter.

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten said the report shows Ireland is tackling litter, but people had to play their own part in fighting it.

“It is imperative that people play their part in keeping their road, neighbourhood and county litter free, or reducing the litter problem where it exists.

“It is about having pride in our communities and taking personal responsibility for our actions.”

The report shows that the top causes of litter are:

  • Cigarette related litter (59.8%)
  • Food related litter (gum) (12.4%)
  • Packaging litter (11.95%)
  • Sweet related litter (7.22%)

The main causes of litter were identified as:

  • Passing pedestrians (40.1%)
  • Passing motorists (18.1%)
  • Retail outlets (10.4%)
  • Places of leisure and entertainment (5.1%)
  • Gathering points (7.9%)
  • Schools/school children (5.3%)
  • Fast food outlets (4.4%)

In total, there has been an increase in the number of areas surveyed deemed to be litter free from 12.3% in 2014 to 16.4% in 2015, the highest level ever achieved.

The percentages of significantly polluted and grossly polluted areas both increased with changes in each case of 0.6% and 0.1% respectively when compared to 2014 results.

Read: 6 essential rules that every Irish person should follow

Read: Survey reveals cleanest, and most littered, areas in Ireland

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