Gum tax prevented as industry steps in

By Peter Stiff

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Gum, Chewing gum, Wrigley

Ireland has scrapped plans for a chewing gum tax after
manufacturers, including Wrigley, pledged €7 million to a campaign
fund aimed at reducing litter.

The campaign is similar to that being undertaken in the UK.

The Irish government had proposed a 10 per cent tax on gum in 2004 to generate revenue to pay for cleaning up discarded gum.

After lobbying from the chewing gum industry, a deal was made last week resulting in scrapping the tax in favour of an educational advertising campaign.

In return chewing gum makers will spend €6 million on an anti-litter education campaign and €1 million on a research programme aimed at making gum less difficult to clean.

Environmental groups, such as An Taisce, have criticized Irish minister of Environment Dick Roche for the decision. Wrigley has hailed the reversal as a more sustainable measure than a tax.

Wrigley's director of public affairs Jo Hartop told ConfectioneryNews.com that the agreement would comprehensively tackle the issue of gum litter:

"It has always been our belief that a programme which will lead to a long-term change in gum littering behaviour is the only effective and sustainable solution to the problem and this agreement between the industry and the department encompasses such a programme,"​ Hartop said.

The investment in research will coincide with Wrigley's ongoing research, which includes a study on less sticky gum.

Dublin City Council estimates the cost of cleaning chewing gum off the streets of the city at €250,000.

The educational campaign follows similar steps taken in the UK, where Wrigley is actively involved in the Chewing Gum Action Group (CGAG).

The group, which incorporates Defra alongside local councils and industry players, is undertaking a substantial advertising campaign to reduce the amount of chewing gum litter.

Wrigley is estimated to have contributed £600,000 to the cause, since it was founded in 2003.

Related topics: Ingredients, Gum

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