Tuesday, 25th April 2017
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20th Anniversary of Easter Monday “Clean up the Comeraghs”

We need your help!

dear editor,

This is the 20th year of the Comeragh area clean up which as usual takes place on Easter Monday the 17th April. People continuously ask members of the Comeragh Community Group if there is any change in the attitude of people when it comes to litter. The answer to that is yes and no. There are many roads in the Comeragh area that are now almost free of litter. The reason is that there are now people who continuously pick litter in their own area all year round. Other areas like the main roads leading out from Leamybrien and the forests continue to be a major problem. Takeaways and drive-thru restaurants are the scourge of the countryside. People sit into their vehicles, eat their meals and when they have finished they open the window and throw the wrappings and leftovers out onto the road. The disposable Coffee Cup, plastic utensils and plastic and tin cans are the new enemy of the countryside.

Over the years the CCDG has tried to educate, inform and lead public opinion by influencing policy at local and national level. One of the first campaigns we had was highlighting the scourge of plastic bags in the countryside. Our campaign was eventually successful when a levy was placed on every bag purchased. Overnight a problem was solved by hitting people in the pocket. We as a group have always tried to lead the way with new ideas in how you can change the attitudes and ways of the people when it comes to litter. This year for the first time we have studied how other countries cope. We looked at all the Nordic countries together with Austria Switzerland and Germany, all of which have very successful ways in dealing with litter.

Germany was the one we concentrated on because we had people on the ground that could monitor the situation on an ongoing basis. If you buy a bottle of orange or a tin of coke, there is a levy of between 15 and 30 cents of each depending on its size. If you want to get the levy money back you can get it in the form of a voucher or some other innovative way like a free ticket to the cinema by placing the empty can or bottle into one of the many vending machines that are easily accessed. If you throw the container out the window of your car or van like they do in Ireland there is an incentive for another person to pick it up and get the money for themselves.

Disposable Coffee cups are another item that are becoming a major problem in Ireland. A levy on those would also eliminate the problem. If people do not want to pay that levy then they should bring a reusable Travel Mug with them or else drink their coffee on the premises in a reusable cup. There is no getting away from the fact that we are a dirty nation and has been proved with the plastic bag levy, the only way you can change people’s ways is to hit them in the pocket.

We are appealing for volunteers again this Easter Monday .The Comeragh Clean Up covers over 40 square miles so many volunteers are required. The arrangements for the day are as follows.

Easter Monday 17th April 2017

10am – meeting point in Leamybrien outside the MACE supermarket to collect gloves and bags. Also to be allocated area to clean.

Midday until 2.30pm refreshments will be served to all our volunteers in St Brigids’ Hall, Kilrossanty

Please remember to be safe at all times.

Children must be accompanied by an adult and Hi Visibility vests or clothing should be worn.

Yours sincerely

The Comeragh Community Development Group

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