April 1st marked the official launch of The National Spring Clean 2023! Registrations for the National Spring Clean are well underway and 2023’s campaign is on track to be the biggest yet with over 300 Dublin groups registered to date. National Spring Clean is operated by the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce in partnership with Local Authorities and supported by the Department of Environment, Communications and Climate Environment and Mars Wrigley Ireland. This year An Taisce celebrates its 75th Anniversary and the largest ever Spring Clean would be a fitting way to mark the occasion.
Throughout the month of April communities from across Ireland will take part in the National Spring Clean to tackle the problem of litter in local areas and to see the benefits of a litter-free environment. Over the past 24 years, National Spring Clean participants of all ages have volunteered over 12 million hours of their time, with almost 45,000 tonnes of litter collected to date. This year the campaign also wants to raise awareness about the Circular Economy Act and how the adoption of a circular economy model will reduce our litter and climate impact.
The 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 participating groups and individuals, while the removal of litter from our natural environment helped to tackle biodiversity loss. National Spring Clean hopes that these litter collection initiatives will prompt people to 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 “I am delighted that my department continues to be in a position to support the An Taisce National Spring Clean Programme. The efforts of local volunteers, many of whom come back year after year, are to be highly commended as they continue to make a real positive contribution to their local community and wider environment. It is particularly pleasing to note that a significant proportion of the waste collected is also recycled, again due to the efforts of these volunteers. I would like to congratulate An Taisce on its 75th anniversary and I look forward to continuing to see their positive environmental impact for many more years to come.”
National Spring Clean Manager, Emlyn Cullen, commented “This is an important year for An Taisce as it celebrates its 75th Anniversary and it would be fantastic if we can make this the largest National Spring Clean to date as part of the celebrations. So far, the numbers of volunteers already registered is huge but there’s still time for people to register online and get involved this year”.
Katrine Grytter, Corporate Affairs Director at Mars North Europe added “Mars Wrigley Ireland is proud to support the National Spring Clean, which empowers individuals to make a really positive impact on their communities, improving local spaces and biodiversity by collecting hundreds of tonnes of litter each year. We hope that by supporting initiatives like the National Spring Clean and other important anti-litter programmes such as Green Schools and the Gum Litter Taskforce, we can help to deliver a cleaner, greener future for all communities.”
To make sure that each community clean up can run as smoothly as possible the National Spring Clean has also provides downloadable information packs on their website for their volunteers to read. The clean-up information pack containing details on how to organise an event, health and safety information, litter facts, useful contacts, media and publicity advice, a guide on how to recycle and information on litter and the law. An Taisce’s National Spring Clean is inviting people to visit the website www.nationalspringclean.org and register for a free clean-up kit.