How to deal with Dublin plastic pollution?

Dame Street, Saturday Night.

Ireland is one of the most important waste producers in Europe. With 11mt of waste in 2014, the island’s ecosystem is facing a major crisis.

In Europe, many cities are in the same situation as Dublin. Nice is the third-worst city in terms of pollution in France. France is using a different way to manage its waste, by practicing a public service, municipal agents are trained to deal and recycle tons of plastic litter. But is it changing anything?

Illegal dumping is one of the most important issues in Dublin. More than other cities in Europe. For everyone how is not use to a private waste management system, it’s sometimes difficult to deal with all these companies doing exactly the same thing but for different prices. The second one is the litter pollution. Cigarettes and plastic bottles are a curse for wildlife in the Irish countryside, PURE Project’s (Protect Upland and Rural Environment) members said. Thank’s to their action, 30 tonnes of illegal waste was removed from the Irish campaign.

People are taking action to protect the environment.

In Nice, such actions are often organized by people feeling concerned about environmental issues. It is important to remember how the Mediterranean Sea is impacted by plastic pollution. It is usual to observe people walking on the beach with a large plastic bag to remove what tourists and locals left here.

Emmanuelle is one of them. She tries to motivate people to take action against pollution. For her, it is important to clean urban areas close to the sea. She is a photographer in love with Nature. One day she started to capture every waste on her way and post it on Facebook to make people acknowledge how beautiful areas could be damaged because of pollution. When she arrived in Nice she organized events called, “Let’s clean up Nature”. “Sometimes we are ten, sometimes I’m alone. I do these events to give people the taste of clean places and respect for the environment.” In less than an hour, her and 4 volunteers had collected a piece of tires, plastic and glass bottles, cigarets and many different types of plastic packages. “It’s the same thing every day I come here, the town is not acting enough. If we don’t act now, all these wastes will end up in the sea.”

Emmanuelle created SOS Mal De Mer and “Clean up Nature” events.

Can Dublin do the best?

In Dublin, such actions are organized too, but it’s still not enough facing the amount of waste. The National Litter Pollution Monitoring System report was published by the Department of the Environment in 2013. It revealed that pedestrians caused the highest level of litter pollution at 39.6%.

In November 2018 the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council organized a clean-up operation after massive plastic pollution in Dun Laoghaire’s shore. People living close to the area started to help voluntarily when they saw thousands of plastic pieces on the beach. A perfect example showing how people can feel concerned.

Irish citizens appear to start a new way of consuming plastic. In a poll realized by TheJournal.ie, 46% of 8500 people said that they are trying to reduce their plastic use. 40% said no but they do use the recycling system. A good start. European law banning single-use plastic will take action in 2021 since here different types of actions will be organized to make Dublin’s streets cleaner as ever.

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