Lough Neagh’s litter problem is spiralling out of control, the Assembly’s Environment Committee has been warned.
Ulster Unionist South Antrim MLA Danny Kinahan said litter washing down from where it has been discarded in rivers is inflicting “untold damage” on the shores of Lough Neagh.
The loughshore is one of the eyesores that has been highlighted in the Belfast Telegraph’s campaign to tackle litter. Pupils from Antrim Grammar School rolled up their sleeves earlier this year to clear rubbish blighting the shores of the UK’s biggest lake.
But Mr Kinahan warned that, despite a series of litter picks by a number of groups, the problem is spiralling out of control and a unified effort by local councils is essential.
“I have brought this problem to the attention of the Assembly Environment Committee and called for a cohesive strategy to tackle an issue that is plainly out of control,” he said.
“While I appreciate that sterling work is already being done by various organisations, it is clear from the volume of litter present on the shores of Lough Neagh that this is a distance from resolution.
“This is not simply an issue for one district council, as waste from any number of tributaries, as well as from the lough itself, is deposited on the banks of Lough Neagh.
“Rubbish is accumulating in the surrounding areas and a focused strategy needs to be implemented if we are to get this problem under control.
“I would urge the Environment Committee to take the lead on this issue — a wonderful natural resource is being damaged and turned into a complete eyesore by our failure to, quite literally, tackle this problem at source.”
The Belfast Telegraph is urging people across Northern Ireland to don gloves and organise litter picks as part of our Big Spring Clean campaign in partnership with TIDY Northern Ireland.
To find out how to organise and register your spring clean-up, visit the website at www.tidynorthernireland.org .