Public help councils tackle sticky situation

Public awareness campaigns have led to massive reductions in the amount of chewing gum dumped in the streets of dozens of districts and funding is available to mirror this progress elsewhere.

The Chewing Gum Action Group is today inviting local authorities to apply for paid-for advertising to support campaigns to tackle the issue of chewing gum litter, after the 2006 campaigns saw reductions in gum litter of up to 72%.

Results for the fifteen authorities who successfully bid for and ran campaigns last year are published today. Thirteen authorities saw reductions of between 7% and 72%, with just one authority reporting an increase.

The average outcome was a reduction of 38%, with a high recall of campaign messages reported.

Funding from the Chewing Gum Action Group underpinned campaigns across England between May and October 2006 under the banner Thanks for binning your gum when you're done.

The Group paid for advertising, which was supported by local authorities' initiatives, included working with business and youth groups, trialling alternative methods of disposal, and increasing the visibility of enforcement and fines for gum litter.

Letters have been sent to all local authorities in England today to mark the start of the application process for the 2007 campaigns. The application form and guidance notes are available online.

Campaigns will run for a four week period in August or September 2007.

Sam Bond



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