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Over half of all litter-bugs fail to pay fines

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Litter on the footpath at Ushers Quay in Dublin.

Litter on the footpath at Ushers Quay in Dublin.

Garrett White

Litter on the footpath at Ushers Quay in Dublin.

OVER 60pc of litter-bugs fail to pay their on-the-spot fine, the Department of Environment has revealed.

The figures were outlined to The Herald as a new Gum Litter Taskforce (GLT) was unveiled this week.

A total of 743 fines were issued by Dublin City Council for all kinds of littering last year.

However, the Department of Environment said that in the 2010 to 2012 period there were 1,929 on-the-spot fines.

Only 696 of these were paid - or 36pc and 312 were prosecuted for non-payment of fines.

A spokesperson for Dublin City Council was unable to say how many of the fines resulted from dropping gum but overall, the number of fines given out was 743.

The spokesperson acknowledged the difficulty in ascertaining how many fines have been issued for chewing gum as the fine is issued under Section 3 of the Act.

This act states: “No person shall deposit any substance or object so as to create litter in a public place or in any place that is visible to any extent from a public place.”

Cigarette butts to bags of household waste are all included under the act.

Lord Mayor of Dublin Oisin Quinn was on hand to launch this year’s campaign to clamp down on gum litter with a focus on raising awareness for the on-the-spot fine for littering of €150.

Campaign

The number of people who recognise that dropping chewing gum is litter is now at an all-time high of 93pc.

The taskforce includes representatives from the chewing gum industry, Department of the Environment and Food and Drink Industry Ireland (FDII).

GLT chairman Paul Kelly believes the campaign has been a huge success in changing habits of the public in recent years.

hnews@herald.ie


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