Tony Killeen, Minister of State at the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government on Monday announced almost €1 million in grants for public education and awareness initiatives on litter.

He said: “Local authorities have taken great strides to progressively combat litter pollution, but much still remains to be done.

“I am calling on local authorities to take all practical steps to raise public awareness of the environmental damage caused by litter pollution and educate the public about their responsibilities to prevent and control litter.

“The grants which I have allocated today will enable local authorities to engage in a wide range of activities aimed at stimulating greater public involvement and encouraging a more responsible attitude towards litter.”

The €950,000 (£637,000) represents a 41% increase on the 2006 grant.

It brings the total given to local authorities for anti-litter awareness initiatives since the Litter Pollution Act introduced in 1997 to more than €6 million (£4 million).

The money is intended to pay for a range of measures to boost public awareness and stimulate anti-litter activity at community level.

It will be split between 34 county and city councils with the total to each varying from €23,000 (£15,400) to €40,000 (£26,800).

Eligible projects include local media campaigns, clean-ups, school competitions, exhibitions and anti-litter video, poster and leaflet production.

Authorities are responsible for selecting suitable projects and deciding how much each receives.

The maximum grant for any one project is 70% of its total cost with a requirement that the balance is met by local contributions.

David Gibbs

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