Ballina was ranked 16th out of 40 towns and cities in Ireland in the annual Irish Business Against Litter Anti-Litter League and deemed clean to European norms.
The north Mayo capital was the only Mayo town to take part in this year’s Anti-Litter League, which was carried out by An Taisce on behalf of Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL). Kilkenny topped the IBAL litter rankings for a record fourth time, ahead of Killarney and Swords at the top of the table.
The An Taisce report into Ballina found that despite a number of littered sites, Ballina ‘has performed very well on its return to the League in 2019’. The top ranking sites included St Nicholas and St Dymphna schools; Mercy Park/Playground and the Jackie Clarke Museum.
The most heavily littered site surveyed in Ballina was the recycle facility at Dunnes Stores where ‘it wasn’t just casually littered but dumping had occurred’.
Commenting on the overall findings of the Anti-Litter League, Conor Horgan of IBAL said that sweet wrappers, chewing gum and cigarette butts remain the most common forms of litter on our streets.
“Perhaps no one item illustrates the link between litter and the broader environment better than the cigarette butt. Cigarette filters are essentially single-use plastic which readily winds its way into our sewers and rivers, adding to the problem of plastic pollution, which threatens to see more plastic in our oceans than fish by 2050. Yet every day we see people nonchalantly flicking butts onto our pavements.”
From next year, an EU directive will force tobacco manufacturers to cover the cost of cigarette butt collection.