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Dublin and Louth students tackle beach clean with Green-Schools and Uisce

Green Schools' Water Ambassadors from four Dublin and Louth secondary schools took part in a clean-up of Donabate beach this week alongside staff from An Taisce's Green-Schools team and supported by Uisce Éireann.

Over 24 volunteers took part in the big beach clean, removing over five bags of rubbish from the popular beach.

Among the items removed from the beach were large volumes of plastic such as bottles and sweet wrappers, wet wipes and other sanitary items along with face masks. Many of these products end up on our beaches and shorelines because they are flushed down toilets rather than being binned at home.

The students taking part in the beach clean first assessed and categorised the type of litter they collected, before safely disposing of it in bags for collection by Fingal County Council.

This is one of six beach or river clean-ups that are taking place nationwide throughout February as part of the Green Schools Water Ambassador Programme. Staff from Uisce Éireann, which sponsors the Green-Schools Water Theme, are taking part alongside local students and volunteers in the clean-up activities around the country.

Ruth Gaj-McKeever, Senior Coordinator with the Green-Schools Water Theme, said: "We were delighted to have so many enthusiastic volunteers at our beach clean-ups. Not only are they helping to improve our natural environment by removing unwanted litter, the clean-up events are also a great opportunity for the students to learn more about our water ecosystems and how we can all play our part in protecting these precious resources."

Wastewater Lead and Uisce Éireann's Think Before You Flush Ambassador, Donal Heaney, added: "Safeguarding Ireland's water and wastewater system is a top priority for Uisce Éireann but it is not something we can do alone. Everyone can play their part in protecting our seas and inland waterways. Even a small change can make a big difference, like putting those wet wipes and cotton buds in the bin rather than flushing them down the toilet so that they don't end up on our beaches and waterways. Congratulation to all the Green-Schools Ambassadors and volunteers for their outstanding work in helping clean up our beaches and raising awareness about the value of our water."

Uisce Éireann's sponsorship of the Green-Schools Water Theme is in its ninth year and in that time over 3,000 schools have completed the water theme.  As well as workshops for students and events such beach clean-ups, Green-Schools also runs an annual poster and video competition on a water theme.

For more details, please visit the Think before you flush section of our website.

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