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A new report has revealed the cost of littering to the public purse in Northern Ireland.

It's estimated that 1,294,164 items are littered on our streets at any one time, weighing approximately 28 tonnes.

That costs the public purse £45million annually according to the new report from Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.

The Litter Composition Report was funded by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA)

According to the report, a significant amount of the litter found contained plastic.

The second most common category was metals at 14.5%, which was mostly made up of non-alcoholic drinks packaging at 9.7%.

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#Do1Thing opinion

Environment Minister Edwin Poots said: "My Department is actively engaged in protecting and valuing our precious landscape, so it can be enjoyed by everyone. 

"Those who engage in littering are not valuing our landscape and these actions have a negative impact that is felt across Northern Ireland. 

"This Litter Composition Report shows that the amount of litter in our environment and entering the eco-system is still a real issue, and the findings will help to identify ways to address this.

Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful Single Use Plastic Coordinator Claire Hudson and Chief Executive Dr Ian Humphreys

"My Department, in partnership with Councils and NGOs, such as Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, is using a combined approach of legislation, education, awareness and enforcement to tackle and improve the litter issue in Northern Ireland. 

"We are also working towards Northern Ireland’s first Environment Strategy which will play a key role in setting Northern Ireland’s environmental priorities for coming decades."

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Belfast Live's #Do1Thing

Dr Ian Humphreys, Chief Executive at Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful said: "This is the first ever NI Litter Composition Report – and the root problems are clear. 

"We need to tackle the fact that one in three people openly admit to littering. 

"We must also share the responsibility for litter that is being created through increased ‘convenience’ packaging."

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