- 13 September 2012
The Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Mr. Phil Hogan, has welcomed the first round results of the Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) 2012 Litter League. He said: "I am delighted that the cleanliness rating for the country as a whole is the highest since IBAL began monitoring in 2002. We must avoid complacency, but it is encouraging to see the steady improvement in litter levels in towns and cities across the country, despite the difficult economic circumstances we find ourselves in.
This improvement has also been reflected in the results of my own Department’s National Litter Pollution Monitoring System. This reflects the commitment of the public, of communities, of businesses and of local authorities to the maintenance of a clean environment." The Minister congratulated those 32 towns and cities who achieved the top rated 'Clean to European Norms' status, and in particular the 18 which were 'Cleaner than European Norms'. He encouraged all parties involved in the battle against litter to maintain their focus saying: "Only through a sustained effort by all concerned - the public, businesses, local authorities and my Department can we win this fight. The appearance of our towns, cities and villages is crucial to our tourist industry and we must all work together to ensure that the behaviour of the small minority of people who continue to dump and dispose of their litter recklessly does not damage our environment or our reputation abroad as a clean, green visitor destination."
He noted that litter pollution levels have improved significantly since surveying first commenced in 2002, when 9 of 29 towns surveyed were deemed to be “seriously littered” and a further 9 were classified as "litter black spots". The initial survey for 2012 revealed that only 2 of 42 towns, cities and urban areas surveyed were deemed "litter blackspots” and none were deemed seriously littered. Local authorities must be commended for this ongoing improvement in the light of diminishing resources."