Volunteers unearth ‘layers upon layers’ of light plastic

By Mary Dennehy

ACTION against plastic is happening at a local level in Tallaght, as volunteers unearth “layers upon layers” of light plastic embedded in the banks of the Whitestown Stream – where a duck’s nest built on a plastic bag was also discovered.

Over recent months, Dodder Action volunteers has focused on the Whitestown Stream in Tallaght, focusing on the same stretch of water for their past four clean-ups.

Dodder Action

Volunteers last Saturday spotted an Engret, two ducks and a moorhen recolonising a spot cleared of waste and plastic bottles

Last Saturday, April 6, 11 volunteers took to the banks and water of the stream for their fortnightly clean – and removed 19 one hundred litre bags of waste.

Timber, a child’s buggy and a tyre were also hauled from the water.

According to volunteer, Wladek Gaj, who lives in Firhouse, hedge-cutting also took place, which has helped to eliminate rubbish traps and improve water flow.

Wladek also noted how one of the volunteers discovered a duck’s nest on a plastic bag.

“There was a clutch of 12 eggs in the nest”, he told The Echo.

“Great care was taken, so as not to disturb the incubation.”

He added:“The initial volume of surface rubbish has been reduced.

“However, we are now entering the realms of ‘archaeology, as we are uncovering layers upon layers of light plastic embedded in the soil on the stream banks and in the actual stream.

“The plastic has possibly lain there for as long as 20 years or over… predating the 2004 plastic bag levy.”

In the past eight weeks, Dodder Action volunteers have removed 165 one hundred litre bags of waste and one-and-a-half tons of larger debris from a very short stretch of the Whitestown stream.

Dodder Action volunteers will be continuing the Whitestown Stream clean-up northwards throughout the summer.

Schedules will be posted on the Dodder Action Facebook page, with new volunteers always welcome.

For further details on clean-ups over the coming months follow Dodder Action Facebook page.

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