The cleanest towns in Ireland have been named
In all, 68% of towns showed an improvement on last year.
A national survey carried out by An Taisce for the Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) has shown the majority of our towns have improved their cleanliness over the past 12 months.
But the first post-lockdown survey by the IBAL has also shown that the litter in the majority of our cities has also increased.
Portlaoise, which was at the very foot of the table back in 2010, topped the rankings, an achievement praised by An Taisce as the result of “years of concerted effort and steady improvement".
40 areas in total in Ireland were surveyed, with Portlaoise edging out last Leixlip and Ennis to finish at the very top, while the rest of the top eight were rounded out by Arklow, Dun Laoghaire, Kilkenny, Fermoy and Naas.
All of the top eight areas in the league were classified as being “cleaner than European norms”, while 14 areas in the country were classified as being either “moderately littered” or “littered”.
Three areas were classified as either "heavily littered" (Drogheda, Limerick City South - Galvone) or a "litter blackspot" (Dublin North Inner City).
All but one of the bottom 10 places in the rankings were occupied by urban areas.
“For cities, this survey paints a bleak picture,” IBAL's Conor Horgan said.
“Litter levels have worsened to a level we have not seen in the past ten years. Now that we have emerged from lockdown, we cannot use it as an excuse for high levels of litter.
“As we invest in promotional drives and build city hotels in anticipation of more visitors, we need to be mindful of the littered environment we are presenting to them.”
The study showed nearly a 30% increase in the prevalence of PPE masks on our streets and an increase in alcohol-related litter such as cans and bottles.