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Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, with responsibility for the Circular Economy and Communications, Ossian Smyth, last Friday 23rd of September, announced the publication of the National Litter Pollution Monitoring System (NLPMS) results for 2021. The System was developed by the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications and TOBIN Consulting Engineers in consultation with local authorities. Under the System, local authorities carry out surveys to determine the extent, composition and causes of litter pollution in their areas. The data obtained from the System enables local authorities to provide more effective litter management planning for their areas, to assess the effectiveness of their litter management strategies and to ensure the optimum allocation of its resources to tackle litter. It provides vital information on the national picture regarding litter pollution.

The 2021 NLPMS Report was prepared by TOBIN Consulting Engineers in our role as the Litter Monitoring Body. The 2021 NLPMS results can be summarised as follows:

• The percentage of unpolluted (LPI 1) areas in 2021 was 22.9%.
• The percentage of slightly polluted (LPI 2) areas in 2021 was 57.1%.
• The percentage of moderately polluted (LPI 3) areas in 2021 was 16.9%.
• The percentage of significantly polluted (LPI 4) areas in 2021 was 2.8%.
• The percentage of Grossly polluted areas (LPI 5) in 2021 was 0.3%.
• There has been a slight increase in litter pollution nationally from 2020 to 2021.

Cigarette related litter (48.4%), packaging items (20.4%), food related litter (11.2%) and sweet related litter (8.7%) were the main litter constituents identified nationally.

Passing pedestrians (40.9%), passing motorists (22.4%), retail outlets (8.3%) and gathering points (6.2%) were identified as the main causative factors of litter nationally.

The 2021 NLPMS Report is available at:

For more information on the NLPMS please contact TOBIN’s Project Manager Allison Murphy (

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