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28/05/20 Bundoran Town wins silver in the inaugural Blue Flag International Best Practice Award for their work as Think Before You Flush town


Representatives from Donegal County Council, Irish Water, Clean Coasts, Discover Bundoran & Bundoran Tidy Towns with some of the local businesses who backed the initiative - pic Brian O'Droma (pictured in 2019)


Bundoran town has won second place for their excellent work in promoting the Think Before You Flush campaign in their community. This follows on from winning the Clean Coasts “Think Before You Flush Community of the Year” at the Ocean Hero Awards before Christmas. Think Before You Flush is a public awareness environmental campaign which is run by Clean Coasts in partnership with Irish Water. If waste such as wipes are flushed in error they can cause damage in the wastewater network as well as enter into our waterways and often end up on the beach as marine litter. This campaign simply asks you to Think Before You Flush and only flush the 3Ps, all other bathroom waste belongs in the bin.


Bundoran was up against stiff competition against all coastal countries in the Northern Hemisphere that house Blue Flag beaches. The countries were measured against each other in how they displayed best practice under the theme of pollution outlining their positive solutions and measurements taken. Blue Flag Ireland submitted a proposal highlighting the wonderful work of Bundoran as a Think Before You Flush town.


Clean Coasts Officer for Donegal and Leitrim Becky-Finn Britton worked closely with Shane Smyth of Discover Bundoran to implement the measures that led to this award. The campaign was promoted in the Discover Bundoran brochure which is a popular publication in this busy North West tourist hotspot. Together with the local Tidy Towns more than 2,000 Think Before You Flush tent cards were displayed in hotels, B&B’s, shops, cafes, and surf schools throughout the town and local company ‘The Natural Company’ promoted the campaign by including Dirty Dozen postcards in all product shipments and in store. It was a real community effort. Bundoran is again part of the Think Before You Flush campaign for 2019/2020.


Shane Smyth of Discover Bundoran was delighted with the result: "We are thrilled with this recognition from the international Blue Flag jury as a result of our work over the past year. It really has come down to the collaborative efforts of local businesses in Bundoran, residents and visitors who are heeding the advice to think before you flush. Combined with the support of Irish Water and Donegal County Council, the initiative has been a great success. Amidst everything happening at the moment this is some much needed good news for the town" 


Ian Diamond, Coastal Awards Manager with An Taisce Environmental Education Unit said: “On the 21st of April, the 2020 Blue Flag International Jury meeting was held online to evaluate and award more than 4,500 beaches, marinas and tourism boats in the Northern Hemisphere that applied for a Blue Flag for the 2020 season. The April meeting was also the occasion to select the winners of the first edition of the Blue Flag Best Practice Competition. The competition was created to highlight the best examples of environmental protection practices implemented by Blue Flag participants around the world. The theme of the inaugural 2020 competition was pollution, and the International Jury had to choose between many excellent best practices submitted. I would like to thank everyone involved in Bundoran for sharing their inspiring efforts towards preventing pollution and congratulate them on their success in finishing first runner-in the competition”


Congratulations to Bundoran on their excellent work. The winner of the category will be announced on June 3rd before the unveiling of all 2020 Blue Flag beaches in the Northern Hemisphere on June 10th.


To find out more about the Think Before You Flush campaign please visit the campaign website

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