As you may have seen in an earlier Facebook post, I recently went on holiday to Ireland. It was a lovely chance to catch up with my parents and enjoy a spot of sightseeing while getting away from my day-to-day responsibilities; if you want to read more about that side of the trip—and see far nicer photos—check out the MissElaineous blog.
However, I can never completely turn off the part of my brain that notices litter, so a portion of the trip was spent assessing the cleanliness of monuments, walking paths, and roadways. In general, there is far less litter present than in England. That could simply be down to numbers: the population of Northern Ireland is 1.8 million and the Republic of Ireland is approximately 4.7 million people. England has nearly 10 times the amount with 53 million residents, and I would estimate that there is easily 10 times (or more) the amount of rubbish strewn across the country.
However, anti-litter signs were also far more prevalent. Whether built into heritage signs, on bins themselves, or decorating the side of a school building, you didn’t have to go far to see a reminder of the correct behaviour. These signs were not wallflowers. I couldn’t get a clear photo from the car, but there were billboards exhorting the necessity of cleaning and recycling, anti dog-fouling signs that used emotive language to get across why it is so important to pick up dog mess, and Galway even offered bags for people to do their own cleaning.*
Part of the recently published National Litter Strategy is a nationwide anti-litter campaign. Ensuring a constant and consistent message across the entire country is a step in the right direction, and we don’t have to look very far to see how something like this could be implemented.
* Don’t forget you can use the Superbin in Monkton Park if you want to access litter picking supplies in Chippenham; drop me a line for details.
This sign at the Giant’s Causeway and the one below at Roslee Castle are perhaps the only ones specifically aimed at tourists; the others seem to target local residents, reminding them to keep the area where they live and work clean.
This is a child’s anti-litter poster that has been blown up and printed as a sign. Research shows that people tend not to litter if a child is present; perhaps this is a simple way of reminding people that they are setting an example to others, while also reaching the next generation?
If you’re in Ireland, I highly recommend a visit to Oughterard and the lovely Lough Corrib.
All of these great messages were posted on the side of a school where students can see them while they play.
While the proofreader in me is cringing at the grammar in some of these signs, they explicitly make the point that dog fouling is not harmless. I’d just like to know if the fines are actually enforced …