ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS News Release (n/a) issued by COI
News Distribution Service. 16 March 2009
authorities taking part in the 2008 Chewing Gum Action Group
campaign have successfully reduced chewing gum litter in their
areas by 43 per cent, figures published today show.
Minister for Sustainable Development and Energy Innovation Lord
"Cleaning up litter costs hundreds of millions of pounds a
year and removing chewing gum is not only expensive, but also very
difficult. The best way to end the problem is by changing the
behaviour of the minority so we can all live in a pleasant
environment. I congratulate local authorities on their success and
urge more to come forward."
To build on this success and to continue tackling chewing gum
litter, the group is calling for new partners to come forward for
the next campaign.
Anyone interested can apply to take part in the campaign by
visiting a new dedicated website at http://www.chewinggumactiongroup.org.uk,
which provides information on how to tackle gum litter effectively.
Running from August to October last year, the campaign used
hard-hitting advertising to encourage users to dispose of gum
responsibly. Those authorities chosen to take part in the next
campaign will receive paid-for advertising in their area and
support from the group to help reduce chewing gum litter.
The individual results for the campaign partners in 2008 were:
Blackpool Council 54%
Cambridge City Council 17%
Croydon Town Centre Business Improvement District 34%
Doncaster MBC 47%
Middlesbrough Council 47%
Mole Valley District Council 36%
Nottingham City Council 50%
Borough of Poole Council 20%
Rushmoor Borough Council 62%
Test Valley Borough Council 62%
Wigan MBC 39%
Wolverhampton City Council 38%
Worcester City Council 51%.
Notes to editors
1. The Chewing Gum Action Group worked with the 15 partner local
authorities, providing support materials and paid-for advertising.
The campaign visual was available free of charge for any local
authority or organisation that wished to run its own campaign.
2. The London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham and Enfield have
yet to return data.
3. The Chewing Gum Action Group is chaired by Defra and brings
together representatives from the chewing gum industry, ENCAMS
(which runs the Keep Britain Tidy campaign), Local Government
Association (LGA), local government representation, Chartered
Institution of Wastes Management, the Food and Drink Federation,
and professional media design and market research interests.
4. 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 £700,000 to the Chewing Gum Action Group. As a key
member of the Action Group, the chewing gum industry also provides
5. More information on the group, past campaigns and research can
be found at http://www.chewinggumactiongroup.org.uk
6. Local authorities that have not been selected for paid-for
campaigns can still use the campaign creative if they choose to do so.
7. Chewing gum was explicitly defined as litter under the Clean
Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005. The offence of dropping
litter can lead to a maximum fine of £2,500 after summary
conviction. A local authority can offer a person found to litter a
fixed penalty notice as an alternative (for a first offence).
8. 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 range £50 to £80. A
discount can be offered for early payment. Those authorised to
issue fixed penalty notices must meet training and competence requirements.
9. The Group is encouraging all local authorities to make use of
the enforcement opportunities available to them in maintaining
acceptable levels of local environmental quality, and to take
action against those responsible for littering.
10. The Local Environmental Quality Survey of England has found
chewing gum staining in 96% of primary retail and commercial sites.
11. It can be expensive to remove chewing gum from surfaces. It
is possible that local authorities that carry out regular
cleansing can spend up to £200,000 a year. It has been suggested
that the average spend is in the region of £13,000 a year, but
this will vary between local authorities depending on the amount
of litter and attention spent on cleansing.
12. This year's campaigns ran under the banners 'Sin /
Bin' and 'Guilty / Not Charged' making use of
wordplay on improper vs proper disposal and appropriate vs illegal
disposal. This was the second year that this artwork had been used
to campaign on chewing gum litter. An awareness campaign also ran
in 2006 under the banner, 'Thanks for Binning Your Gum, When
You're Done'. The campaigns were informed by research
into the attitudes and awareness of droppers commissioned by the
Group in 2004.
13. The average percentage change in deposits of gum litter in
2007 was 58% overall, compared to 43% in 2008. The following
individual results were achieved in 2007: Blackpool 85%; Bedford
16%; Braintree 49%; Brighton and Hove 32%; Bristol 59%; Canterbury
47%; Colchester 60%; Enfield 39%; Gosport 4%; Kirklees 35%; Leeds
37%; Mansfield 14%; Middlesbrough 34%; Oxford 86%; Test Valley
57%; Wolverhampton 57%.
14. For further information please contact Keren McCarron or
Rebecca Wilhelm on 020 7420 7132/7140 or email@example.com