Cork lord mayor launches 'Picker Pals' to make a difference in litter push

Cork lord mayor launches 'Picker Pals' to make a difference in litter push

Picker Pals Greenmount NS with Lord Mayor Cllr Colm Kelleher

A new litter picking programme for Cork city's primary schools has been launched by the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Colm Kelleher.

Picker Pals run by environmental NGO VOICE (Voice of Irish Concern for the Environment) and supported by Cork City Council’s Waste Enforcement section, motivates and equips children with 'Picker Packs', containing everything children need to go litter-picking.

The lord mayor visited Greenmount National School, and Ms Kingston, second class teacher, said: “My class loved it. Anytime the kids took the pack home their parents sent me pictures, which I printed and stuck on the Picker Pals cardboard poster. It was so lovely to see all of the family getting involved in the project.”

Using upcycled and fully reusable packaging, Picker Pals provides classrooms with bespoke story and activity books in both Irish and English, and picker-uppers which are taken home by a different child every week. 

Each child goes on a litter-picking adventure in their local area with their family and reports back to their classmates on their activity. 

Lord Mayor Cllr Colm Kelleher praised the initiative, saying: “The key to successfully tackling the mounting litter problem we face is creating behaviour change. Picker Pals’ success lies in inspiring a positive mindset in children and families around the issue of litter and their own power to make a difference. 

"It’s vital that we encourage a sense of environmental stewardship and civic pride in children at an early age. I’d love to see all schools in Cork City get involved in the Picker Pals programme.”

Since the start of the pandemic there has been a marked increase in the amount of litter in towns and cities with a recent IBAL survey showing only 50% of Irish towns are now deemed to be clean. 

Picker Pals plans to have over 1,200 classrooms across the country involved in the programme this year. Primary schools in Cork City can now get involved in this unique, fun and free programme.

Cork City Council encourages interested schools to get in contact with Picker Pals pickerpals@voiceireland.org or to register their interest on the Picker Pals website www.pickerpalsword.org.

Places are limited so early registration is advised.

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