An Taisce and the Blue Flag Programme, in supporting the Leave No Trace ethos, are currently piloting a “Pack It In Pack It Out” initiative at several of Cork’s Blue Flag beaches, encouraging beach users to take all their litter home and dispose of it correctly. Local authorities in Ireland invest substantial sums of money into meeting the Blue Flag criteria and most Irish beaches continue to meet these high standards. However some bathing areas are subjected to tremendous pressure due to vandalism, littering, human-caused dune destruction and other impacts (loose dogs and dog faeces) over which the public has direct control. Litter accounted for a majority of the issues encountered by An Taisce inspectors on Blue Flag beaches last summer. Everyone has a role in protecting the Blue Flag status of a beach and consequently the Blue Flag office encourages visitors to ‘Leave No Trace’ when visiting.
To find full information on criteria, blue flag beaches and marinas, maps etc. visit www.blueflagireland.org.