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19 May 2022

Calling people in County Leitrim to sign up to largest anti-litter initiative in the country

Louth people called on to join in to National Spring Clean 2022

Registrations are now open for National Spring Clean 2022, calling all communities in county Leitrim to register for Ireland’s largest and longest anti-litter campaign and make a tangible impact on our environment. 

National Spring Clean is operated by the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce in partnership with Local Authorities and supported by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment and Mars Wrigley Ireland.  

The National Spring Clean traditionally takes part in the month of April. For the past 23 years 85,000 clean-ups have been organised with volunteers dedicating a total of 12 million hours to remove around 42,000 tonnes of litter across the country. National Spring Clean 2021 was the biggest and the longest campaign so far, taking place between March and August, and despite the current situation and restrictions at the start of the year, 5,543 groups registered to carry out clean-ups throughout the country and collected an estimated 3,000 tonnes of litter around Ireland.  

In 2021 600 Leitrim volunteers participated in organised clean-ups to show their support to the National Spring Clean.  This year, building on the success of previous years, the hope is to make the National Spring Clean campaign the biggest yet. 

The National Spring Clean is also an opportunity for volunteers to take local actions to make a change at a global scale. As a matter of fact, over the last couple of years, the National Spring Clean has also been trying to raise awareness about another crucial issue: the link between litter and climate change – the biggest environmental challenge of our time – and highlight how combined local actions can have a global effect. Our consumption patterns and how we dispose and treat our waste has a substantial impact on the levels of emissions of several greenhouse gases which contribute to climate change. 

Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD, said:  “An Taisce’s National Spring Clean is a real testament to the work of volunteers all over the country. These volunteers continue to organise local clean-ups every year. The past two years have proven difficult because of the necessary Covid restrictions, but this year represents a real opportunity for people to get together and help clean up our countryside. I would urge people to get involved and I would like to acknowledge the key role played by An Taisce in overseeing the campaign. My Department will continue to provide support to the campaign and I look forward to the many events that will be held countrywide.” 

National Spring Clean, Chairperson, Michael John O’Mahony, commented: “We have all been through some unprecedented times over the last two years. We all became more aware than ever before of our local areas. Participants continued to undertake great work for National Spring Clean in family bubbles or as individuals during these times. However, we can now look forward to working together again as larger groups and communities and celebrate the success together.” 

Mars Wrigley Ireland Corporate Affairs Manager, Nicola Forde stated:  “Mars Wrigley Ireland are delighted to once again support National Spring Clean 2022. We have been working on litter reduction in Ireland for over fifteen years and while great progress has been made in that time there is a need for constant vigilance to ensure old habits don’t return. National Spring Clean is a great way to raise awareness and reinforce positive behaviours.”   

The National Spring Clean programme is inviting people to visit the website at www.nationalspringclean.org to request a free clean-up kit.

While waiting for the National Spring Clean to officially kick off, the programme is also inviting communities around Ireland to join other initiatives. For example, volunteers are invited to take part in the #2minutestreetclean campaign and join the conversation on social media (details in the editor’s note). Furthermore, to celebrate Women’s Day, the National Spring Clean programme will be sharing on social media stories of women who have made a positive impact on our environment and is calling people in county Leitrim to share their own stories about women volunteers. 

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