Registrations are now open for the National Spring Clean 2023. Throughout the month of April, the National Spring Clean will encourage communities to tackle the problem of litter in local areas and to see the benefits of a litter-free environment. National Spring Clean is operated by the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce in partnership with Local Authorities and supported by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment and Mars Wrigley.
Over the past 24 years, the National Spring Clean has been focused on the message of the collective responsibility we share in tackling and preventing our national litter problem. By participating in organised clean-ups, groups and individuals of all ages come together to make a meaningful and positive contribution to their communities – to date this has resulted in the collection of almost 45,000 tonnes of litter across Ireland!
This year, the National Spring Clean is also raising awareness about how the adoption of a circular economy model, will reduce our litter, and climate impact. The circular economy is a waste prevention approach to keep resources in use for as long as possible, enabling us to extract the maximum value from them before recovery and regeneration. This is based on three principles: eliminating waste and pollution, keeping materials and products in use (through re-use and recycling), and protecting nature. This means that as we transition to a more circular economy, we’ll see less waste, less litter, and lower emissions, and thus, cleaner planet.
These principles of a circular economy have been central to the ethos of National Spring Clean for the past 24 years. Last year some 35% of all waste collected was recycled, thanks to recyclable waste bags provided to groups and individuals who register, while the removal of litter from our natural environment has helped tackle biodiversity loss. Throughout this year’s campaign, National Spring Clean also hopes people will consider their waste output and moderate consumption behaviours that produce excess waste, and look at alternatives that will move us away from a throwaway culture to a more sustainable circular culture.
Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD, said “An Taisce’s National Spring Clean continues to showcase the dedication of volunteers all over the country. The commitment of volunteers in continuing to organise local clean-ups each year is a testament to the spirit in Irish communities and I would urge as many people as possible to get involved in the campaign. My Department will continue to support the campaign and An Taisce, whose role in organising this successful campaign each year, deserves to be acknowledged. I look forward to the many events that will be held all over the country in the coming months.”
Mars Wrigley Ireland Corporate Affairs Manager, Nicola Forde added “National Spring Clean is about removing waste and litter to protect our biodiversity and create cleaner and healthier communities. We welcome initiatives of the Circular Economy Act such as the ban on single use plastics, the proposed ‘latte levy’ and the deposit return scheme which will help us to eliminate this waste at the first stage” Mars Wrigley Ireland is proud to support programmes like the National Spring Clean, which has played a significant role in reducing litter across the country over the past 24 years bringing people together with these invaluable community cleans ups. We’re also delighted to see this year’s campaign highlight the importance of the circular economy model, something which is a core element of our ‘sustainable in a generation’ mission. Our goal is to switch to 100% recyclable packaging by 2025. “
In 2022, over 460 groups registered for the initiative in Dublin. With the support of people all around Ireland, the National Spring is hoping to have an even bigger campaign this year. To register to be part of Ireland’s largest anti-litter campaign, people can visit www.nationalspringclean.org.