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Styrofoam packing peanuts dumped in the River Lee.
Styrofoam packing peanuts dumped in the River Lee.
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Large amounts of styrofoam packing peanuts are regularly polluting the river Lee with efforts underway to find their source

Styrofoam packing peanuts have been polluting the River Lee in Cork for the past three months.

A cork man contacted The Echo to say he has noticed that styrofoam peanuts float down the River Lee every time there's heavy rainfall.

Styrofoam packing peanuts found in the River Lee.
Styrofoam packing peanuts found in the River Lee.
JP Herlihy said he has been trying to locate the source of the pollution and believes the styrofoam is entering the water somewhere along the River Bride.

"I found some in the river across from the Ovens Bar, but failed to find any at Killumney village," he said.

"I've been on about this for three months. I've gotten nowhere. Yesterday the were flowing down the river in buckets."

"They just appear, hundreds of them. You can see them at the Kingsley Hotel where they gather in the reeds."

"It's terrible pollution. Somebody is dumping thousands of these styrofoam peanut packers. They look innocuous, like petals of flowers," he said.

JP said that because the pollution hasn't stopped, he's going to take matters into his own hands.

"I'm going to try and fish the styrofoam peanuts out of the river with a net," he told The Echo.

"I feel like I'm doing somebody else's job here. I'm getting very angry. I am concerned about my river and my city."

Styrofoam can have serious impacts on human health, wildlife AND the aquatic environment.
Styrofoam can have serious impacts on human health, wildlife AND the aquatic environment.
"It's going to keep happening unless we put a stop to it.

In a statement, Cork County Council said: "Cork County Council's Environment Directorate has received reports on this issue."

"Arising from a previous report in August last, the Council identified and removed fly tipped styrofoam waste upstream of [the River Bride]. This latest report may relate to residual material not located at the time. Cork County Council will investigate as necessary."

Styrofoam is a petroleum-based non-biodegradable expanded foam. It can break down when exposed to sunlight, but only after many years.

The American EPA said in a 2002 report on 'Assessing and Monitoring Floatable Debris' that styrofoam "can also have serious impacts on human health, wildlife, the aquatic environment and the economy."