Some Dublin retailers have said they will not be able to comply with new council regulations on litter because they are too expensive to implement.

The bye-laws came into effect on Friday 2 January and require all pubs and premises that serve take-away food to clean the public footpaths 50 metres either side of them every one to two hours during opening times.

Retailers who serve take-away food are now also required to print their name and address on all packaging, and in the case of chains or franchises, specify the branch the packaging has come from.

Pubs must provide cigarette bins outside their premises and the distribution of leaflets and flyers has been completely banned.

Those who want to distribute free promotional material will have to apply for a licence, which costs €250 per event.

Brody Sweeney, the founder of O’Brien’s Sandwich Bar, has described the bylaws as preposterous.

He said they presented an ‘administrative nightmare’ and a ‘burden’ for retailers and would increase costs at a time when many businesses are struggling.

Mr Sweeney said that complying with the bylaws was ‘not practical’ and that he had raised the case with a number of Dublin City Councillors.

He also said that many businesses were not aware that the bylaws had been introduced.

Dublin City Council says the bylaws were introduced to try to make those who produce waste responsible for it.

Anyone in breach of the by-laws faces fines of up to €19,000.

The council says they will be lenient on businesses at first as they make more retailers aware of the new rules.

Other retailers have expressed concern about the impact the ban on leaflets and flyers will have on their business.

Padraig Og Gallagher, the owner of Gallagher’s Boxty House in Temple Bar, says that the use of flyers last summer increased his business by around 20%.

He said the ban could have a significant impact on his business.


During the 2008 Lisbon treaty campaign concerned citizens handing out flyers were harassed by Dublin City Council. With no flyer law the council workers did try to make people stop informing others with non-authorized information by saying they were littering, it did not work with informed individuals who knew the law. What tyranny now awaits people during the Lisbon II campaign and other campaigns that aims to protect others? They can do nothing if thousands of people stand together, young and old. However if we comprise by accepting a low price licence payment with long term periods to handout flyers it means the State has gotten one step towards the goal of completely blacking out unauthorised information instead of three steps straight away. Give them an inch and before you know it they’ll take a mile.