Local authorities back campaign to tackle chewing gum litter

The Chewing Gum Action Group (CGAG) has launched its 2011 campaign in partnership with 12 local authorities in a bid to cut levels of chewing gum litter.

The annual campaign by CGAG, a Defra-chaired organisation set up to tackle irresponsible gum disposal, sees the group work with the councils to develop initiatives to raise awareness of chewing gum litter and find ways to reduce irresponsible gum disposal.

CGAG's £700,000 campaign includes a programme of advertising, public relations, road shows and awareness days to help challenge people to think about how they dispose of used gum, which can lead to an £80 fine for offenders.

Environment minister, Lord Henley, said: "Litter from chewing gum is a major problem and costs local authorities a great deal cleaning it up. There is no excuse for dropping gum and people need to start taking responsibility for their actions and bin their used gum or face the fines."

According to CGAG, which is now in its sixth campaigning year, authorities that signed up to their 2010 programme saw an average reduction local gum litter by 43%. However, CGAG noted that gum reductions can be higher still, with Coventry City Council reporting an 84% drop in gum litter and Oldham and Gosport councils reporting drops of 74% and 69% respectively.

Local Authorities backing the 2011 campaign include: Cambridge City Council, Carmarthenshire County Council, Chelmsford Borough Council, Croydon Town Centre BID, Gosport Borough Council, Newport City Council, Nottingham City Council, Rotherham MB, The Highland Council, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Wolverhampton City Council and Glasgow City Council.

CGAG's campaign co-ordinator, Natalie Forrester, said: "With 12 local authorities signed up to the new campaign, we aim to build on the excellent gum litter reduction results of previous years.

"We hope that more consumers than ever will take positive action and dispose of their gum responsibly. Binning used gum is a small action which can have big consequences for the local area."

CGAG works with a number of organisations on its campaigns, including: Defra, Keep Britain Tidy, Keep Wales Tidy, Keep Scotland Beautiful, the Food and Drink Federation, the Local Government Association, the Welsh Government, The Scottish Government and the chewing gum industry.

Carys Matthews


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