Plastic pollution in Dublin has got worse over the last 12 months, according to Kevin Dennehy from Dodder Action, a volunteer run group who organise cleanups along the banks of Dublin’s River Dodder.
Speaking to The Dublin Gazette after another large scale clean up at the weekend, Kevin said: “There’s two kinds of rubbish we find. First of all we find household rubbish, so the average black bag with everything in it. But the other one that we’re more familiar with is casual littering.
People just dumping bottles and wrappers. Theres little or no enforcement when it comes to littering and it’s worse over the last few months.
Outlining a potential reason for this as a lack of resources, Kevin said: “South Dublin County Council has 280 thousand inhabitants and 5 litter wardens.
There’s also a question of the attitudes of people too. There has to be encouragement for people and while we can facilitate them with more bins, there has to be a penalty for leaving litter and I don’t think the councils are doing enough about it.”
In early 2020 there was an initiative introduced in Co. Monaghan where a bottle deposit scheme was set up.
A vending machine was used as a means for people to bring back plastic bottles. After they launched, they were quickly oversubscribed. They received 10 times the number of bottles they predicted.
Speaking about doing something similar in Dublin, Kevin said: “We’d be in favour of introducing deposits on bottles and cans as it works in other countries.
We used to have it here in the seventies and there would be no problem in reintroducing it. People will use it. We think this could be a first step in tackling our problems with litter in the city.”