No Beach ‘Blackspots’, But Issues Remain

The annual survey of coasts and inland waterways by Irish Business Against Litter found that while there was a 50% rise in clean sites surveyed compared to last year, Ireland's coastal areas are still more littered than its towns.

IBAL said that nationally, popular beaches at Portmarnock and Lahinch deteriorated to “littered” status, as did Dog’s Bay in Galway, while those at Bundoran, Ballybunion, Skerries and Strandhill were deemed “moderately littered”.

The beaches listed as clean included Tramore, Salthill and Killiney, along with Brittas Bay and Curracloe in Wexford. For the first time since IBAL started its coastal surveys in 2017, no area was deemed to be a litter blackspot. 

IBAL said the bad weather in July had little effect on the most prevalent types of litter such as cigarette butts, sweet wrappers, fast-food wrapping and plastic bottles.

Coffee cups were found at almost half of sites, while disposable vapes were encountered at one in seven locations. The business group said this made vapes significantly more common as litter on Irish beaches than on streets.

IBAL added that its annual Big Beach Clean is due to take place next month, with volunteer groups including in excess of 40,000 people, which it said reflects the growing public concern at the impact of litter and pollution on marine life.