A widespread educational campaign in the UK designed to reduce gum litter comes on the back of impressive global growth.
Over the summer, a total of 15 councils will be running campaigns on the back of funding from the Chewing Gum Action Group (CGAG).
CGAG has paid for an advertising campaign in each area, which will involve a range of posters at street level, on buses and in bars using the slogan: "Thanks for binning your gum when you're done."
The initiative comes on the back of impressive global growth for the chewing gum sector. Total US chewing gum sales alone, excluding Wal-Mart sales, stood at $944 million for 2005, up 23 per cent since 2002, according to ACNielson. And Europe has seen similar increases.
But with this success has come the increasing issue of litter disposal. The new campaigns, which are based on a successful pilot campaign run last summer, are an attempt by industry and regulators to address these concerns.
The initiative promises to be successful - a pilot scheme in Preston saw a reduction in gum litter of up to 80 per cent.
Defra hopes that the impact of the promotional campaign will be enhanced by PR initiatives run by the councils in order to raise awareness of the problem of chewing gum litter and encourage responsible disposal of gum.
In addition, councils hope to educate people that dropping gum is littering and that those who drop gum on the floor can be fined up to £80.
"The Chewing Gum Action Group is leading the nationwide push to reduce gum litter on our streets," said Ben Bradshaw, minister for local environmental quality at Defra.
"We hope the Group's work will help local authorities reduce gum litter, reduce the money they spend on cleaning it up and, in turn, help increase the pride people have in their communities."
There will be a pre and post campaign attitude and awareness study paid for by the group in a selection of areas. The results will be analysed and used to determine how the group will move forward.
The Chewing Gum Action Group was formed in Autumn 2003, bringing together chewing gum manufacturers, the Local Government Association, the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management, ENCAMS (which runs the Keep Britain Tidy Campaign), DfES, the Improvement and Development Agency and Defra.