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Event is part of the world’s largest beach clean and marine litter survey

Irish Water staff from Cork joined their colleagues from Ervia and Gas Networks Ireland in a Big Beach Clean in Cobh.

More than 30 staff from Irish Water’s offices in Mallow and Cork City took part in the clean-up which was organised to coincide with Clean Coasts’ Big Beach Clean weekend (Sept 14-16). This event is part of the world’s largest beach clean and marine litter survey. Marine litter such as plastic bottles, fishing litter and food packaging are common finds on our beaches. Last year, 789,138 volunteers in more than 100 countries collected nearly 9.3 million kilograms of marine litter during last year’s International Coastal Cleanup event.

Millions of tonnes of marine litter enter our seas and oceans

Each year millions of tonnes of marine litter enter our seas and oceans, resulting in environmental, economic, health and aesthetic challenges. As part of the Big Beach Clean weekend, volunteers are encouraged to help remove marine litter from our beautiful coastline and in turn protect our coastal habitats and marine life.

Collected more than 50 bags of rubbish

The Clean Up at Pilot’s Quay, Cobh was organised by Irish Water staff and their colleagues in Ervia. They collected more than 50 bags of rubbish including large amounts of baby wipes, baling twine and plastic ties.

Richard O hEadhra of Irish Water’s regional communications team said: “We are delighted to take part in the Big Beach Clean. We have all seen the evidence of marine litter along our coastline so it is great to have an opportunity to do something positive to combat the problem and also raise awareness about the issue. Every piece of litter removed from the coast is a piece of litter that won’t pollute our oceans or harm wildlife. In Irish Water we are committed to improving the quality of Ireland’s bathing waters and are delivering projects right across the country that will stop the discharge of untreated wastewater into our oceans by 2021.

“A prime example of this is the Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage Project which will end the discharge of the equivalent of 40,000 wheelie bins of raw sewage into the harbour. We’re already halfway there and by 2021 we will have a sewage free harbour, improving the local marine environment and providing the infrastructure to enable the future growth and development of communities in the Lower Harbour area.”

Think Before You Flush Campaign

Irish Water also supports the Think Before You Flush campaign which aims to tackle the problem of sewage-related litter on Ireland’s beaches. Every day people flush thousands of sanitary items such as baby wipes and cotton bud sticks down the toilet instead of simply putting them in the bin. Other items that are frequently flushed down the toilet include cigarette butts and plasters. This can create unsightly litter on our beaches and cause serious damage to wildlife and the marine environment. It can also lead to blockages in sewers and wastewater treatment plants.

More Information

For more information, please visit our Think Before You Flush page.

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