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A new litter campaign by McDonald’s in Northern Ireland has been welcomed by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.

The campaign is aimed at tackling litter in parks, on paths and along roadsides in towns across the province. 

The ‘30 Parks in 30 Days’ campaign will see McDonald’s employees undertake 30 litter clean-ups in parks and nature areas across Northern Ireland throughout the 30 days of June – including Newry. Led by the seven local franchisees across McDonald’s estate of 33 restaurants in NI, the clean-up events will be supported by local councils, elected representatives, schools and volunteer groups.

Councillor Karen McKevitt, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council (back, third from left) is pictured with crew members from McDonald’s in Newry at the recent litter clean-up. Photograph: Philip Magowan / Press Eye
Councillor Karen McKevitt, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council (back, third from left) is pictured with crew members from McDonald’s in Newry at the recent litter clean-up. Photograph: Philip Magowan / Press Eye

A recent litter clean-up led by the McDonald’s Newry restaurant was attended by Councillor Karen McKevitt and speaking on behalf of the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Cathy Mason, she said, “Our district is renowned for its wealth of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, but much to the dismay of so many residents these areas can sometimes be blighted by careless littering. As well as being unsightly, litter is a serious social, economic and environmental issue. 

“The Council supports local actions to target and tackle the problem of littering. Our Elected Members have also highlighted problems associated with litter and the need for bins to be regularly emptied, especially with the rise in throwaway litter.

“The Council is delighted to support McDonald’s ‘30 Parks in 30 Days’ campaign and welcomes their proactive and grass roots approach to tackle the issue of littering in the heart of our community.” 

John McCollum, Franchisee of the McDonald’s Newry restaurant commented: “At McDonald’s, we take our environmental responsibilities extremely seriously. We very much share our customers’ and stakeholders’ disappointment and frustration at seeing litter discarded carelessly in parks, on paths and by the sides of roads.

“Whilst our employees regularly undertake voluntary litter clean-ups in these areas, this collaborative ’30 Parks in 30 Days’ campaign between our restaurants and local communities reinforces our strong commitment to tackling litter in Northern Ireland.” 

Mr McCollum said the campaign adds further to “a wide range of litter initiatives” rolled out by McDonald’s on a daily basis. Across the UK and Ireland, McDonald’s staff collect 27 tonnes of litter every year, on litter patrols that take place around every restaurant three times a day. Employees cover a total of 5,000 miles each week picking up all waste, be it our own packaging or that of other restaurants and retailers.

The launch of the ’30 Parks in 30 Days’ initiative comes following McDonald’s recent ‘Talking Rubbish’ campaign in Northern Ireland with popular social media and entertainment social publisher LADbible Ireland. 

Building on the success of McDonald’s #GetInTheBin campaign, the digital campaign features videos of items of ‘talking rubbish’ discarded at iconic locations across Northern Ireland. Whilst intended to be light-hearted and engaging, the campaign carries a serious message about the detrimental impact litter is having on the world around us.   

Mr McCollum continued, “Alongside our practical and operational initiatives, we are committed to investing in proactive campaigns that help bring about behavioural change in relation to important societal and environmental issues such as littering.

“We have been hugely encouraged by the levels of engagement with our ‘Talking Rubbish’ campaign, which is targeted at the 18-34-year-old LADbible audience.  With our first video in the series attracting over 25,000 interactions within a matter of hours on Facebook and Instagram, it is clear that a strong desire to make a positive change around littering is shared right across our society.” 

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