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Northern Ireland Environment Link Logo
 

News

 

Events

 

Oct 2018 right left

International Healthy Cities Conference 2018

Monday 1st October
See programme for details
See website for details

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Do you love where you live? Come along to a workshop on Binevenagh and Coastal Lowlands area!

Wednesday 3rd October
Magilligan Field Centre, Seacoast Road, Limavady
Free

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Grass Roots AGM 2018

Saturday 6th October
Newtownbreda Presbyterian Church Hall, Ormeau Road, Belfast
Free

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Harvest Month

Saturday 13th October
Springhill, Moneymore
Adult £5.90, Child £2.95

Autumn tales at Oakfield Glen, Carrickfergus

Saturday 13th October
Oakfield Glen, Carrickfergus
£5 per child; £1 per accompanying adult

Clearance of Pine & Rhododendron

Sunday 14th October
Ballynahone Bog Nature Reserve, near Maghera, Co Londonderry
Free

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Overhead and Underfoot – The Second World War Legacies around the Lough

Tuesday 16th October
The Old Courthouse, Market Square, Antrim
Free

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Creating active and liveable environments – Enhancing the interface between research, policy and practice

Thursday 18th October

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City2Sea: Pathways for Litter Conference

Monday 22nd October
The Guildhall, Guildhall Street, Derry~Londonderry BT48 6DQ
See registration form above for details

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Marine Litter Report published 7 March 2018

New Marine Litter Report Reveals Extent of Plastic Pollution on Northern Ireland’s Beaches (via Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful)


KNIB

The 2017 Marine Litter Report, published by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, has laid bare the state of our beaches in Northern Ireland when it comes to the litter landing on our shores. The organisation began these surveys in 2012, with an average of 510 items of litter being found per 100m of beach between then and now. An astonishing 79% of this litter was made of plastic, a figure that rises to 82% when you look at the 2017 data in isolation. Incredibly, 30% of the litter was a ‘single use plastic’, so called because the item is used once and then thrown away.

Much has been made of the plastic problem in the media recently, with shows like ‘Blue Planet II’ and the ‘Sky Ocean Rescue’ campaign shining the spotlight on what is a global issue and requires a global response. The Marine Litter Report also lends some insight into the matter, looking at the specific harm that plastic poses to some of our most beloved and protected marine animals. From leatherback turtles to the iconic Atlantic puffin, it seems that no creature is immune from the ubiquitous material and it is estimated that up to 99% of all seabirds will have ingested plastic by 2050 if no fundamental changes to plastic and waste consumption occurs. Furthermore, tiny fragments of plastic known as ‘microplastics’ have been found in 83% of tap water samples taken all around the world. This, combined with the plastics being found in our seafood, is a clear pathway for entry into the human body.

Dr Ian Humphries from Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful thinks the tide is starting to turn on marine litter, saying, “The damaging effects of littering, particularly of single use plastics that end up polluting our oceans, is clearly highlighted in this year’s report, which shows four items of litter for every step that we take along our coast. Thankfully, most people don’t litter, and growing awareness and calls for action spell the beginning of the end for this highly anti–social behaviour.”

The report also highlights the fantastic work being done by groups of volunteers from a range of different organisations. Over the course of 1,345 hours, 461 volunteers lifted 850 bags of rubbish across the ten beaches surveyed. This is just one form of environmental leadership outlined in the publication, which also draws attention to Ards and North Down Borough Council, who recently passed a motion to promote eco–friendly alternatives to single use plastics such as coffee cups and plastic straws. Schools have also been getting involved, with Mill Strand Integrated Primary School banning all plastic straws after one of their pupils saw a disturbing image of a turtle with a straw up its nose on social media.

The full report can now be downloaded from the Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful website.

The marine litter surveys are carried out four times a year by trained members of staff and dedicated volunteers. The data collected is also used by DAERA and the OSPAR Commission.