Thursday 25 March 2021
Green Party NI Councillor Barry McKee has said that we must start to address the increase in littering with a producer pays response.
The North Down Councillor was responding to the new Keep NI Beautiful Cleaner Neighbourhoods Report which noted an increase in littering between 2019 and 2020.
Cllr Barry McKee said: "The findings of this Keep NI Beautiful report are very concerning but they also provide a useful picture of what is being littered and where.
"Single use drink bottles, cigarettes butts and fast-food packaging are all commonly strewn across our streets and countryside.
"I want to producers of the packaging that ends up as litter on our roads and across our countryside to begin to take responsibility for the problem.
"Producers of soft drinks, fast-food and tobacco products make huge profits. It's logical therefore that they are compelled to fund litter picking schemes and education programmes around the impacts of the problem. Perhaps then, these same companies will be incentivised to produce less packaging and develop reusable alternatives.
"At present, Council and community volunteers pick litter across their local areas. It's an unsustainable approach to the problem at a time when local government funding streams are under pressure. Conversely, the pandemic has brought about a financial boost for many companies such as drive through fast-food outlets."
Cllr Barry Mc Kee concluded:
"Government must insist that these big businesses play their part in creating healthier, happier communities for all."
Sinead McIvor - 07701 302 498