Irish Business Against Litter is to extend its annual anti-litter league rankings to include more than 60 beaches, ports and rivers.
The business group has been ranking towns and cities across Ireland, according to their litter levels for the past 16 years.
Our coastal areas and waterways are a vital part of our tourism product and for this reason alone warrant inclusion in our survey
Coasts and inland waterways will be monitored independently by An Taisce and findings published in late summer.
"Our coastal areas and waterways are a vital part of our tourism product and for this reason alone warrant inclusion in our survey," said Conor Horgan of Irish Business Against Litter. "But by allowing us to draw attention to the broader critical issue of marine litter, their significance is much greater."
He said litter is transitioning from primarily a visual concern to a health and environmental one, “with marine litter seen as signalling the inevitable death of our seas unless a rapid change can be effected”.
The move is supported by the Department of Local Government. The litter league tables have "proven to be a powerful instrument in focusing attention among local authorities, volunteer groups and others on litter in towns and cities", said Minister of State Damien English.
Irish Business Against Litter’s most recent report shows that more than 70 per cent of towns attaining clean status, with none branded a litter blackspot.