The National Litter Pollution Monitoring System is an innovative method, which is used to enable local authorities to manage litter pollution in a systematic, structured manner. The information gathered provides essential data to facilitate decision-making in relation to litter management at local, regional and national levels. Using a specially designed GIS application each local authorities functional area is mapped and then surveyed annually using Litter Pollution Surveys and Litter Quantification Surveys. The data produced by the System allows local authorities to gauge:
- the extent and severity of litter pollution in each local authority area;
- the types, most likely sources and causes of litter;
- the changes in litter levels from location to location and over time;
- the location of litter black spots; and
- the impact of new anti-litter measures.
The National Litter Pollution Monitoring System is an environmental management tool that enables local authorities to tackle litter more effectively, by providing a framework for consistent and accurate self-assessment by local authorities. The guiding principle is, "if you can measure the litter problem, you can manage it". Based on an Environmental Management System, the National Litter Pollution Monitoring System is subject to constant auditing and continual improvement. For this reason the system's Monitoring Manual should be read in conjunction with all Information Updates.