Launch of An Taisce’s National Spring Clean 2017

Minister Naughten kick off National Spring Clean 2017 in massive clean-up in his home county Roscommon Minister Naughten appeals to everyone to play their part in tackling Ireland’s litter problem 31 March, 2017 | Today the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten, launched the 2017 National Spring Clean, Ireland’s largest and longest running anti-litter campaign, with a huge clean-up initiative in Roscommon town. The Minister also put out a nationwide to volunteers and communities across Ireland to register for this year’s anti-litter campaign, which runs throughout the month of April. In its 19th year, the National Spring Clean sends a positive nationwide message of the collective responsibility we share in tackling our national litter problem. The National Spring Clean encourages individuals and groups such as schools, local authorities, voluntary groups, businesses and community groups to get involved in organised local clean-up events. By volunteering in organised clean-ups, people of all ages come together to make a positive contribution in the communities in which they live and work. This initiative is organised by An Taisce and supported by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment. With participation in 2016 of over 5,000 community groups, 500,000 volunteers and 2,760 tonnes of litter collected, of which 35% was recycled, the National Spring Clean 2017 aims to build on the progress and momentum from prior years to make 2017 the most successful anti–litter campaign yet. Denis Naughten, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment said: ‘Despite the great work by An Taisce, litter pollution remains a problem. And yet litter is one of the most easily solvable of our environmental problems – if people took more responsibility, we simply would not have a litter problem. Today, I am calling on local residents, community groups and businesses to volunteer their time and energy in the fight against litter. In the spirit of volunteerism, The National Spring Clean 2017 aims to build a sense of collective responsibility to environmental protection through local community participation. Collective responsibility at a local level will influence positive change at a national level’. National Spring Clean, Chairperson, Michael John O’Mahony, commented: ‘The National Spring Clean campaign represents Irish community spirit at its very best, as people come together to give back to their local community and environment. For the 2017 campaign, I encourage everyone to participate in community organised clean-up events being held throughout the country. I particularly encourage families and our young people to get involved. Tackling Ireland’s litter problem begins with a change of attitude, followed by behavior and building a sense of pride for your local community and environment.’ Katherine Hogan, Corporate Affairs Manager, Mars Ireland (representing Wrigley) said: ‘We are delighted to continue our support of An Taisce’s efforts to promote responsible litter disposal in communities around the country. Our sponsorship of the National Spring Clean is an integral part of our Gum Litter Taskforce programme to change behaviour towards the disposal of gum litter. This is a great way to get communities involved and continue to change behaviour in the fight against litter.’ All clean up groups registering with the National Spring Clean campaign receive a FREE clean-up kit comprising information, posters, colour coded refuse sacks for segregation of waste materials, protective gloves and tabards to keep participants clean. Groups registered with National Spring Clean are also covered under a public liability insurance policy while engaged in clean-up activities for the duration of the campaign. An Taisce encourages everyone taking part in ‘#springclean17’ activities to tell everyone about it. Post photos using the #ProtectYourEnvironment and #springclean17 hashtags to your favourite social media platforms. You can tag the campaign on Twitter or Instagram using either the twitter handle @NationalSpringC, and on Instagram using the Campaign’s Instagram handle @nationalspringclean.

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