The Bin It! campaign arrived in the county this week with visits to four Galway school as part of its annual nationwide campaign.
The schools – St Pauls Secondary School in Carrowmanagh, Archbishop McHale College, Mercy College in Loughrea and Gort Community School – are all participating to help raise awareness of issues surrounding litter amongst students.
This is the thirteenth year the Bin it! campaign has toured across the country, with 521 school visits and a total of 57,778 students having taken part since the campaign first began in 2006.
It features an actor-led workshop which visits first and second-year students in secondary schools across participating local authority areas.
The workshop incorporates a theatre-in-education session which encourages students to dispose of gum litter, and litter more generally, in a responsible manner.
Bin It! forms an integral component part of the Gum Litter Taskforce’ (GLT) gum litter education campaign which seeks to encourage correct gum disposal amongst the public.
Established in 2006, the Gum Litter Taskforce includes members of the chewing gum industry, represented by Mars Ireland, the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Food Drink Ireland, local authority representatives and civic society.
Speaking of the Bin It! campaign, Chairman of the GLT, Paul Kelly said: “When the GLT campaign first began, gum litter accounted for 26.37% of all recorded litter.
“The most recent report of the National Litter Monitoring Pollution System has shown that chewing gum now accounts for just 7.8% of all litter.
“This reduction points to the fact that the core principle underpinning the campaign, that is that the most effective way to reduce gum litter is to tackle it in the most sustainable way, by educating people of correct gum disposal, is working.
“The campaign however, would not have reached the level of success it has done today had it not been for the enthusiastic buy in from young people in particular in initiatives such as Bin It! and I am delighted to see so many schools across the country sign up again this year.”