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News

New campaigns to reduce gum litter

Defra : 02 March, 2006  (Company News)
The Chewing Gum Action Group today announced funding for 15 local authorities across England to help them deal with the problem of gum litter. Local authorities in Bristol City, Chesterfield, Colchester, Hertsmere, Horsham, Kensington, Lancaster City, Leeds, Lewisham, Medway, Plymouth, Solihull, Stoke on Trent, Trafford and Wigan will all receive money towards campaigns this summer.
The campaigns will use a mixture of advertising, alternative disposal and enforcement measures to reduce gum litter in these areas.

There will also be close engagement with the local communities in order to disseminate the longer-term message behind the advertising campaigns of: 'Thanks for binning your gum when you're done'. This was the message used in three successful pilot campaigns which were run last year by CGAG.

CGAG was formed in 2003 and consists of chewing gum manufacturers, the Local Government Association, the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management, ENCAMS (who run the 'Keep Britain Tidy' campaign), Department for Education and Skills, the Improvement and Development Agency and Defra.

Commenting on the high standard of applications, Ben Bradshaw, Minister for Environmental Quality, said:

'Gum litter is a major problem, and it's going to be hard work changing people's attitudes and behaviour.

'However, each of these campaigns have the innovation to educate people in refreshing ways, as well as a hard-line approach to enforcement.

'It's this approach which made last year's pilots a success, and it's this approach which the Chewing Gum Action Group believes will create less gum litter in the first place.'

Under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, all local authorities have the power to fine people caught dropping gum 50. In April this will rise to 75.

The 2005 pilot campaigns took place in Maidstone, Manchester and Preston. The results from these showed the threat of enforcement to be a major deterrent for people.

The three councils also used a series of catchy advertisements, with the message 'thanks for binning your gum when you're done', which helped to raise awareness of the problem.

Information and experience gained from the pilots, as well as the results from an attitude and awareness survey, has enabled CGAG to plan this wider roll-out and produce a guide for all local authorities on how to tackle this sticky problem.

Mr Bradshaw added:

'The pilots last year gave us a good idea of what worked, and what didn't. The new campaigns will hopefully use that experience to create greater reductions in gum litter.

'But gum litter is an issue across the country, so there is no reason why every local authority should not at least look at the guide we have sent them, and then seriously consider running campaigns of their own.'
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