We had the good fortune to be invited to Abbeyleix Manor Hotel by Laois Environmental Awareness Officer, Suzanne Dempsey, to address a gathering of Laois Tidy Town Groups. To say it was a miserable evening would be soakingly accurate. Luckily the groups who had assembled for the evening from all over Laois, the weather decided to take a turn for the better; long enough, anyway, to allow them a walk around Abbeyleix before they convened outside of the hotel.
It was then that we got the chance to speak with them about our campaign and the deposit return scheme in general. Tidy Towns groups the length and breadth of the country are often at the coalface of litter in their communities and spend many a precious volunteer hour picking up the waste of other people. Given that a sizeable percentage of this waste consists of plastic bottles and aluminium cans, the introduction of a deposit return scheme should benefit the work they do enormously.
Think about it: those volunteer hours that were previously spent picking up bottles and cans might, in the future, be used to create wildflower patches or enhance communal spaces. And bottles and cans which are collected can have their deposits redeemed to be used by these very groups. The attendees were all receptive to this idea and immediately grasped the potential opportunities a successful deposit return scheme will afford them. With the weather closing in on us again, we bid them adieu and hit the road back to Dublin, courtesy of Curran Recovery and Towing, our transport partner.