Dáil Éireann - Volume 614 - 14 February, 2006
Written Answers. - Litter Pollution.
Mr. Hayes Mr. Hayes
193. Mr. Hayes asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the progress to date in 2006 in implementing the litter action plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5279/06]
Mr. Roche Mr. Roche
Mr. Roche: The litter action plan, the national anti-litter strategy, adopts a multi-sectoral approach — with broadly based local partnerships with local authorities taking the lead role — as the basis for combating litter. Key actions continuing or implemented under the litter action plan are as follows: developing and implementing the national litter pollution monitoring system and publicising system results; co-financing the an Taisce-led national spring clean initiative; implementing a local authority anti-litter awareness grant scheme; co-financing the Irish business against litter campaign, IBAL, national litter league; maintaining a best practice website to encourage new or innovative anti-litter action; increased on-the-spot and court fines for offences under the Litter Pollution Acts; prohibition of advertising by means of placing items on vehicles; arranging for national anti-litter advertising campaigns; introducing a plastic bag levy; and securing a negotiated agreement with the chewing gum industry.
My Department is now taking forward further actions, including the following: working with local authorities to improve training for the litter warden service; working with the relevant sectors to reduce or eliminate the impact of problematic litter items such as bank ATM receipts and fast food wrapping; and encouraging the development of anti-litter action plans by Departments and the principal State agencies in respect of their own organisations.
Key measures in the litter action plan affecting local authorities include: establishing broadly based anti-litter partnerships at local level; undertaking new and innovative forms of anti-litter action; reviewing and improving litter management plans; intensifying enforcement action; providing free phone services for reporting litter offences; introducing greater flexibility in litter warden working arrangements; implementing fully the national litter pollution monitoring system; reviewing existing clean up services to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness; using grant funding for anti-litter education and  awareness, and for activities to leverage local business funding for additional anti-litter measures; and focusing litter education and awareness activities on the involvement of schools in anti-litter action.
Progress reports returned to the Department by local authorities on the implementation of actions relevant to them indicate that they are active in meeting the objectives set for them in the plan. Litter enforcement statistics are available in the Oireachtas Library and show that local authority performance on enforcement of the litter laws continues to improve. More litter wardens have been employed and there have been substantial increases in the number of prosecutions taken and on-the-spot fines issued annually.
Question No. 194 answered with Question No. 120.
Dáil Éireann 614 Written Answers. Litter Pollution.