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New campaign launches to help reduce chewing gum litter

6th October 2013

Photograph of New campaign launches to help reduce chewing gum litter

How do you bin yours?

The Highland Council has launched a new campaign today (Monday 7 October) with the aim of reducing littered gum in the local area. Encouraging residents to Bin it your way, the council has partnered with the Chewing Gum Action Group (CGAG), an organisation chaired by Defra and funded by the chewing gum industry, to tackle gum litter in the UK.

The campaign, now in its eighth year, sees industry working with councils and Business Improvement Districts to develop local initiatives to reduce chewing gum litter. The Highland Council is among 16 local authorities and BIDs taking part in the 2013 activity.

Last years campaign showed an average fall in gum litter levels of over 50% in participating areas and a 93% reduction in one area!

The new advertising campaign features professionally choreographed and highly innovative dance moves, encouraging gum chewers to dispose responsibly of gum litter in a fun and engaging way or face a fine of up to 80. The dynamic, brightly coloured adverts will appear in a range of locations across participating local authorities and districts, including roadside banners, bus stops, lamp-posts and telephone kiosks. The Waste Awareness Team will also be out and about in town centres publicising the issue and handing out chewing gum wraps to users.

Councillor Graham Phillips, Chairman of the Councils TEC Services Committee, said: Chewing gum litter is a real nuisance that is costly and difficult to remove. We want the residents in the Highlands to be proud of where they live which is why we have partnered with the Chewing Gum Action Group to raise awareness and proactively tackle this problem. I really hope gum chewers think before they dispose of their gum and understand that they can play a part in making the Highlands a clean and inviting place to live.

The Highland Youth Convener Ainya Taylor is helping to spread the How do you bin yours? message. She said: At the photo launch I had a shot of the gum buster machine so I now know just how time consuming and difficult it is to remove gum once it has hardened on the ground. Its great to see that a campaign aimed at young people has produced such eye-catching posters that should really grab everyones attention. They highlight in a fun way that we can all carry on enjoying chewing gum but it is important to make sure it ends up in a bin and not stuck to the pavement.

CGAG brings together a number of organisations including Defra, Keep Britain Tidy, Keep Wales Tidy, Keep Scotland Beautiful, the Food and Drink Federation, the Local Government Association, Welsh Government, Scottish Executive Government, Zero Waste Scotland, The Chartered Institute of Wastes Management and the chewing gum industry. It has been running successful campaigns to change the behaviour of irresponsible gum disposal since 2006.

CGAG campaign co-ordinator Kristian Bentham said: Over the past eight years we have been extremely encouraged by the results of the CGAG campaign and we are looking forward to working with this years participating authorities to help create cleaner, more attractive places to live and work. We are committed to building on the success of previous years and hope to see a significant reduction of chewing gum litter in the partner regions.

The 16 local authorities involved with this years campaign are:
Swansea Business Improvement District
Falkirk Delivers (Business Improvement District)
Peterborough City Council
Liverpool City Council
Bournemouth Council
Wyre Forest Council
Nottingham City Council
Northampton Borough Council
Neath Port Talbot Council
Rochford Council
Corby Council
Highlands Council
Love Wimbledon (Business Improvement District)
Cambridge City Council
Hull City Council
Milton Keynes Town Centre Management in partnership with Milton Keynes Council

The Chewing Gum Action Group is chaired by Defra and brings together representatives from the chewing gum industry, Keep Britain Tidy, Keep Wales Tidy, the Local Government Association (LGA), the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management, Keep Scotland Beautiful, Scottish Government, the Welsh Government and the Food and Drink Federation.

The chewing gum industry is working closely with Government and other partners to tackle the problem of chewing gum litter through the Chewing Gum Action Group. Industry has committed an annual sum of approximately 700,000 to the Chewing Gum Action Group. As a key member of the Action Group, the chewing gum industry also provides additional support on a rolling basis which is not calculated as part of this figure.

Local authorities that have not been selected for paid-for campaigns can still use the campaign creative if they choose to do so.

Full campaign partners receive paid-for advertising and support from the group to help reduce chewing gum litter in their local environments. This includes free pre and post campaign workshops to equip partners with the information and resources needed, a dedicated coordinator to provide advice throughout the campaign process, and the option to promote their campaign as a case study on the Chewing Gum Action Group website:

The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 gave greater powers and flexibility to local authorities to enforce against local environmental offences. The Fixed Penalty Notice level for litter can now be locally set between the 50 and 80. Fine amounts vary between Wales, Scotland and England due to separate national legislations. In Scotland, fines of up to 50 can be issued for littering under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. In Wales under Section 88 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, fines are set at a local level between 75 and 150 with a default of 75. Those authorised to issue fixed penalty notices must meet training and competence requirements.

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