0244 GMT February 20, 2020
Cigarette related litter is well ahead of the next biggest offender, packaging items , which accounts for 18.2 percent of litter composition nationwide, irishtimes.com wrote.
The report says passing pedestrians are responsible for 42 percent of the litter dropped across the country while passing motorists fling 22.4 percent of it from their vehicles.
But the report also recorded an increase in the number of unpolluted areas — 20.5 percent of the locations surveyed in 2018 were free of pollution, an increase of 4.9 per cent on the previous year.
It also recorded a decrease of 4.3 percent in the number slightly polluted areas (59.6 percent). Moderately polluted areas remained the same at 17.1 percent while grossly polluted areas increased from 0.3 percent to 0.4 percent.
Minister for the Environment Richard Bruton said people appeared to have a blind spot for cigarette litter.
“Littering could be halved if cigarette butts were properly disposed of. We seem to have a blind spot for this behavior — it is six times more prevalent than sweet papers,” he said, publishing the National Litter Pollution Monitoring System report.
“Overall the survey shows some promising results. We see an increase in unpolluted areas and a decrease in slightly and significantly polluted areas. These results are thanks to the vigorous efforts made by individuals, community groups and local authorities in keeping their local area clean.
“However we do also see a very slight increase in the amount of grossly polluted areas, with cigarette related litter remaining the largest offender. The amount of chewing gum litter has halved since 2016.”