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20/09/2021

Concern at state of beach in popular spot for Limerick people

Concern at state of beach in popular spot for Limerick people

Ballybunion beach in Kerry is a popular spot for Limerick people

CONCERN has been expressed at the condition of the beach in one of the most popular tourist resorts for Limerick people.

The Irish Business Against Litter (Ibal) report has determined Ballybunion beach in Kerry to be ‘moderately littered’ in its annual report on seafronts.

However, there’s better news for another local tourist hotspot, with the group determining Lahinch beach as being ‘clean to European norms’.

As part of the survey, beaches, harbours, rivers and their immediate environs were monitored by the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce in June and July.

Conor Horgan of Ibal says overall, there has been a rise in clean beaches and harbours compared to its 2019 study, the last time inspectors went out.

“This is especially encouraging given the number of people who are staycationing and availing of our coastal amenities this year. There is evidence that many local authorities have upped their game in terms of additional bins, facilities and signage,” he said, “However, at the bottom end of the table, we’ve seen many areas deteriorate from ‘moderately littered’ to ‘littered’.”

The most common forms of litter found by the assessors were cigarette butts, sweet wrappers, disposable masks and plastic bottles, with coffee cups also featuring strongly. Alcohol cans were found in almost half of all sites, the report stated.

“The majority of these litter item are plastics, whose impact on the marine environment is a source of global concern,” says Mr Horgan. “Cigarette butts, for example, may appear harmless, but they are in effect a single-use plastic which poses a real danger to our sea life.” Research shows a single butt can contaminate up to 200 litres of water.  “

“We all need to realise that the implications of litter along our coasts go beyond tourism and recreation. It presents an existential threat to our planet and way of life,” he concluded.

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