Mallow is runner-up in Ireland in fight against litter

Mallow town had its best ever showing in the Irish Business Against Litter competition, finishing runner-up to Maynooth in the ranking of 40 towns and cities nationwide. The An Taisce report for Mallow commented as follows; [this was] Mallow’s best-ever position in the IBAL rankings, with seven top ranking sites and the remaining three just shy of same. There were no heavily littered sites. Top-ranking sites included Tip O’Neill Park/Spa House grounds (wonderfully presented and maintained), Muddy Hill car park (replete with grotto and electricity box art), the grounds of Mallow Castle and riverwalk – an extensive path/amenity which was excellent with regard to litter. The Main Street had a seemingly high number of vacant/closed down/derelict buildings but, apart from one, they hadn’t become a magnet for litter, as can so easily happen. While these buildings presented poorly, the Main Street wasn’t littered.
A surprise finding of the IBAL study was the rise in coffee cup litter, which is now close to peak-Covid levels. Coffee cups were found at over 30% of the 500+ sites surveyed. “We are concerned at potential delays in introducing a coffee cup levy,” said Conor Horgan of IBAL. “We believe this action is needed to stamp out a product which is out of step with the circular economy. Irrespective of how recyclable or compostable take-away cups are, these statistics show too many of them are ending up on our streets.” IBAL says Killarney has benefited from having banned single-use cups last year, a move embraced by the community.
IBAL has also welcomed the introduction next month of the Deposit Return Scheme as a potential game-changer in the fight against litter, much as the plastic bag levy was. The scheme will see consumers pay a deposit of 15 cent on cans and up to 25 cent on plastic bottles, refundable on their return. “This latest survey shows these items to be present in just under half of the hundreds of sites we surveyed. This scheme will remove a large portion of this litter and bring about a significantly cleaner environment in 2024. While there may be some inconvenience for consumers, the prize is a very real, and a very immediate one,” said Mr. Horgan.
There was another significant rise in the prevalence of disposable vapes, highlighted previously as an emerging source of litter. These were found in more than 10% of all sites covered.