Boris blows up over bubble gum
London mayor Boris Johnson is holding a 'gum gala' in a bid to rid the capital of the sticky menace in time for the 2012 Olympics.
The behind closed doors meeting, today (July 9), aims to cut the estimated £10M annual cleaning bill caused by dropping gum on the street.
Speaking before the private meeting, which includes gum makers and anti-litter groups, Mr Johnson pointed out that a recent deep cleaning to remove chewing gum from the length of Oxford Street took three months to complete.
And, during the clean more than 300,000 individual pieces of chewing gum were peeled off the pavement.
Mr Johnson said: "Gum detritus casts an unsightly stain on our beautiful city and scraping it off our streets is also a great drain on taxpayers ' money.
"I want visitors in 2012 to be welcomed to a sparkling clean capital, not be greeted by the sight of chewing gum blighted streets."
The mayor has pledged to reduce litter in the capital in the run up to the 2012 games and will also host a litter summit with the Campaign for Protection for Rural England, London Councils and Keep Britain Tidy.
Mr Johnson also pointed to the annual London survey, which found that when asked to list two to three priorities for improving the quality of the environment, 20% of residents gave litter as a priority.