The children and principal of St Mary’s Primary School on Rathlin Island have helped to launch Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s LitterSmart campaign.
The young people played their part by taking part in a litter pick at the seafront.
The community on Rathlin works together to keep the beach area and island free of litter for everyone.
The LitterSmart initiative, which includes awareness raising and practical action, aims to enhance our understanding about the harmful and unsightly nature of litter. The campaign complements the Two Hands project which encourages us to pick up a piece of litter when we are out and about (if it is safe to do so) and then dispose of it correctly.
The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Councillor Joan Baird OBE said: “The pupils on Rathlin Island are rightly proud of their beautiful environment and I was delighted to join them for this launch event. We can all do our bit to protect the world we live in by working together and disposing of our waste properly. On behalf of Council I would like to thank everyone, especially the volunteers, who work tirelessly to keep our beautiful countryside, towns and villages clean and free of litter.”
In the UK, 13 billion plastic bottles are sold every year, 7 million disposable coffee cups are thrown away along with approximately 8.5 billion plastic straws, so action is urgently needed! Much of the litter we create is eaten by birds, fish and other species, leading to large numbers of fish having plastic in their gut. At current rates there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050.
Using a refillable bottle or coffee cup, saying no to straws and putting rubbish in the bin are all easy changes we can make to help address the problem.
Litter picks are currently being carried out by community groups, schools and other organisations across the Causeway Coast and Glens. Hundreds of bags of rubbish have already been collected, some of which has been washed ashore, thrown out of car windows or just discarded carelessly by the public.
The next community litter pick will be carried out in Anderson Park, Coleraine by young people from the Coleraine Youth Council later this month.
Each litter pick carried out in the Borough will be included on a story map along with photographs allowing everyone to see how communities are working together with Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council to look after our wonderful area.
If you or your group would like to organise a litter pick or to find out more, please contact the Environmental Resource Team ring 028 2766 0248 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Litter pickers, bags and high visible vests will be provided and all bags of rubbish will be collected after your litter pick.