Based on wider data, Northern Ireland's beaches are much better than portrayed in recent report
letter of the day: LITTER FACTS
I write to you concerning the release of the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) report on the cleanliness of Northern Ireland's beaches (News, November 23).
As an environmental charity, we survey and report annually on levels of litter on our beaches. At the moment, we are compiling a report covering the whole of 2016 - not just one weekend in September.
Based on a significantly larger set of data than the one used by the MCS, we find we actually compare favourably to the rest of the UK when it comes to litter on our beaches.
I would also point out to your readers the huge success that we achieved just five short months ago in the Blue Flag Awards, when 10 beaches were awarded Blue Flag status against set standards for water quality and tidiness of the beach by an international jury.
Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful has always promoted the message of doing your bit, but we should base our perspective on facts.
We are making progress and have beaches every bit the match of any in the UK, or Europe. There are many areas we can improve upon and that's why we carry out rigorous, systematic examinations of our beaches all year round; so that we can give the public facts about not just what we do right, but also what we need to do to improve.
Information is our friend in this process, but perspective is an important ally, too.
DR IAN HUMPHREYS
Chief executive, Keep NI Beautiful