Roscommon town loses ‘Clean’ status in 2023 IBAL rankings

The final litter survey of 2023 by business group Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) shows that Roscommon town has lost its ‘clean’ status and is now categorised as ‘moderately littered’. It is ranked 31st in the ranking of 40 towns and cities nationwide. Longford town is in 27th while Carrick-on-Shannon is ‘cleaner than European norms’ in 8th spot.

Maynooth in Co. Kildare claimed top spot and for the first time since surveys began 20 years ago, no area was deemed ‘seriously littered’.

IBAL says the impending Deposit Return Scheme will improve cleanliness levels further but is calling for action on coffee cups.

The An Taisce report for Roscommon stated: ‘With a number of heavily littered sites and one litter blackspot, Roscommon has fallen down the IBAL league compared to a number of years ago. Some of the poorer sites have been highlighted in previous surveys and yet there has been little notable improvement’.

While litter levels rose slightly nationwide, over 60% of towns surveyed were deemed clean in 2023, with Maynooth edging out Mallow and much improved Sligo to take the title of cleanest town.

A surprise finding of the IBAL study was the rise in coffee cup litter, which is now close to peak-Covid levels. Coffee cups were found at over 30% of the 500+ sites surveyed.

“We are concerned at potential delays in introducing a coffee cup levy,” says Conor Horgan. “We believe this action is needed to stamp out a product which is out of step with the circular economy. Irrespective of how recyclable or compostable take-away cups are, these statistics show too many of them are ending up on our streets”.

IBAL says Killarney has benefited from having banned single-use cups last year, a move embraced by the community.

See the full ranking table below: