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pollution

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In worrying news, a new survey has found that the majority of Irish beaches and rivers are polluted, with one-in-six deemed "clean to European norms".

The most common forms of litter discovered by assessors included food wrappers, plastic bottles, cans and cigarettes, according to The Journal.

Five-in-six beaches and waterways examined as part of Irish Business Against Litter's survey were considered clean enough to meet European standards.

The study analysed 42 areas across Ireland by IBAL, and only 1-in-6 beaches were clean enough to meet the standards. 14 percent were classified as ‘littered’ or ‘heavily littered’.

Beaches, harbours, rivers and their immediate environs were monitored by the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce over the summer, with fishing industry-related litter found in almost all marine sites.

Salthill was stated to be one of the cleanest beaches in the country, and the report praised the Galway beach as a “well used and cared for environment”.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Curracloe beach in Wexford was also added to the 'clean' list for having 'a virtual absence of litter', but Seapoint in Dublin was the only other beach considered clean.

Lough Rea, the River Shannon at Carrick-on-Shannon, the Nore in Kilkenny and KiImore Quay harbour in Wexford were also inspected as clean.

The Barrow in Carlow town and the Tolka in Dublin were both heavily littered, along with Cork Harbour near Midleton.

Cork harbour was “subject to dumping, with heavy levels of land-based food-related items and large numbers of traffic cones and household appliances discarded in the water”, according to the report.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Inspectors claimed that the River Barrow at Carlow had “a very definite heavy litter presence … with a wide variety of regular litter, both land- and water-based."

Blackrock Castle also had “heavy levels of plastic bottles, plastic bags, cans, food / sweet wrappers and large pieces of plastic … several plastic bags of rubbish and other miscellaneous items were dumped adjacent to the coast.”

Bundoran, Dingle, Kinsalem Brittas Bay in Wicklow, Dun Laoghaire harbour, Tramore beach in Waterford, Portmarnock beach in Dublin and the tourist destination of Lahinch were considered “moderately littered.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Conor Horgan spoke as a representative of IBAL, saying that the need for action on plastic pollution in aquatic environments was increasingly more vital;

“Our regular surveys consistently show 80% of our towns to be clean; we cannot say the same for our beaches and waterways.

“Litter as we know it has acquired a wholly new importance for society. This is especially true for an island like Ireland, where litter can readily wind its way to the sea irrespective of where it is dropped," he added,

“When it comes to marine litter the sea starts at every household, street, green space and workplace.”

Feature image: Instagram/@alex_travel_lounge

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Ireland was treated to plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures this weekend. The public made the most of the sunshine by spending time in the park, at the beach, and numerous people spend hours on the canal banks.

However, images have recently emerged online showing the shocking state the canal banks were left in.

Twitter user @DJDeece wrote, “The absolute STATE of the canal. What is wrong with people? Either put your rubbish in a bin or bring it with you.”

The shocking images show the heavily littered canal banks, which were cleaned up by the local community and Councillor Claire Byrne.

Speaking of the extreme state of the canal banks, Claire Byrne stated, “People need to be a bit more responsible and just take all their rubbish home with them.”

She believes that the city needs to provide more bins to deal with the excessive crowds, “I think it needs to be a combination of both, but I think as a city we need to be providing more infrastructure, and probably larger bins and more of them during the summer months.”

She stressed that the public needs to make a bigger effort to clean up after themselves, “People need to be a little bit more responsible – take their stuff home – and perhaps we need to do a bit more of an awareness campaign around that."

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The Great Barrier Reef is one of the world's most beautiful habitats, and is home to hundreds of marine life species. 

One resident of the reef is being negatively impacted by human pollution and chemicals.

The green sea turtle has been found to have been impacted by contamination, researchers found. 

Human medications, pesticides, herbicides and industrial chemicals have all been found in the blood streams of the sea creatures, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

'What you put down your sink, spray on your farms, or release from industries ends up in the marine environment and in turtles in the Great Barrier Reef,' said environmental chemist Amy Heffernan from the University of Queensland

'Humans are putting a lot of chemicals into the environment and we don't always know what they are and what effect they are having, we need to be conscious of that,' she said.

 

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'There is one new chemical registered for use every six seconds, so the libraries and the databases that we use to identify these chemicals just can't keep up.'

Turtles from multiple areas were tested by the researchers. 

Chemical exposure has been linked to stress and other negative side effects in marine wildlife.

The turtles tested were already showing indications of inflammation and liver dysfunction.

Moral of the story? Be careful what you pour down the sink. 

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Soon your parents could not only be ordering you to clean your plate, but eat it too. That’s if LOLIWARE has their way.

The company has developed a line of fully edible and biodegradable tableware as a solution to overflowing landfills.

Made using plant-based gelatine (vegan friendly!), LOLIWARE cups come in a range of flavours and textures. When you’re finished your drink you can either eat it, or break it down in seconds using boiling water.

Anything left over can be composted, making it one of the most eco-friendly products around.

There are bad points however. One downside is cost. At the moment a pack of four cups costs nearly $12, a bit prohibitive for your average barbecue. They also don’t ship outside the US, so it could be a while before you can try them for yourself.

LOLIWARE is a new company and has a few teething problems, but as it expands production these should be solved. Most importantly they have launched a new, creative and delicious way to deal with pollution and waste.

If more companies follow their example our diet could take a big change for the functional.

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