Over 4,000 volunteers across 50 Waterford groups joined the National Spring Clean 2022 campaign during April.
The initiative is operated by the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce in partnership with the Government and local authorities.
This year, the campaign returned to its usual month-long clean up after two years of restrictions due to the Pandemic.
Nationwide, volunteers collected an estimated 2,800 tonnes of litter, making it the most successful clean-up since the event began in 1999.
Furthermore, National Spring Clean has been a starting point for a large number of groups to organise regular clean-up events.
This year's theme was Community Pride, and people of all ages gathered in cleaning their shared green spaces together.
Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD, said of the initiative:
The statistics for what the National Spring Clean achieves every year are staggering and are a real testament to the energy, drive and community commitment of volunteers up and down the country, who come out and work hard together to protect, enhance and clear up our local environments. It’s unpaid, largely unsung and often unseen work that improves the quality of life for all of us.
While the clean up month of April has ended, there are plenty of ways you can continue to combat litter and plastic pollution. A few of these include:
• When you are out for a walk, visiting a park or a beach, do a quick #2minutestreetclean or a #2minutebeachclean
• Avoid single-use plastic when possible, by choosing more sustainable alternatives, such as reusable bottles and coffee cups, cotton bags, metal straws, etc…
• Don’t litter and if a bin is overflowing, keep your waste until you find a waste to dispose of it properly
• If you can’t reduce or reuse, recycle; know where and how to recycle all types of waste.
• Recent statistics show that, in Ireland, discarded cigarette butts make up for 60% of litter on the streets. Always bin your butt!
• Make sure to bin your chewing gum when you’re done to avoid a €150 gum littering fine and keep our streets clean!
Meanwhile, for those out and about by our coasts this summer, a safety message has been issued by the RNLI, The Coastguard and Water Safety Ireland. More here.