Local councils get gum funding

By Peter Stiff

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Gum, Gum base, Confectionery

Fifteen local councils in the UK will receive funding from the
Chewing Gum Action Group (CGAG) to help combat gum litter.

CGAG includes gum manufacturers such as Wrigley, which are being called upon to take responsibility for their products. Some councils have even suggested that a tax should be imposed on confectioners to help pay for the cost of cleaning.

The funding has been granted to help authorities advertise and implement alternative disposal methods and apply enforcement measures.

Local authorities from Bristol, Chesterfield, Colchester, Hertsmere, Horsham, Kensington, Lancaster, Leeds, Lewisham, Medway, Plymouth, Solihull, Stoke on Trent, Trafford and Wigan will all receive money towards campaigns this summer.

The paid for advertising will run for between four and six weeks this summer from May to September.

Local councils are estimated to have spent £4.5 million removing gum from pavements last year. Some claim to put the total cost at £150 million should there be a complete cleanup.

A staggering 3.5 billion pieces of gum are estimated to have been spat out on Britain's streets in the last 100 years, CGAG estimates.

Earlier this year the CGAG sent out a guide to councils to help them tackle the costly problem.

The world's biggest gum producer Wrigley claims to have contributed £600,000 to the CGAG since it was founded in 2003.

CGAG brings together chewing gum manufacturers, the local government association, the chartered institute of waste management, ENCAMS, DES, the improvement and development agency and the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Applications from 50 councils were received by the CGAG for funding and the winners were choosen on aspects such as creativity, enforcement, monitoring, engaging with the local community and the extent of the problem.

The campaign to give funding to fifteen councils was launched following the success of three pilot schemes last year.

Campaigns in Maidstone, Manchester and Preston had a positive response, with an 80 per cent reduction in gum litter in Preston following the pilot.

Chewing gum litter is also a big problem in Ireland to the extent that the Irish government proposed to put a 10 per cent tax on gum in 2004.

The tax was forestalled earlier this year after lobbying from the chewing gum industry.

A deal was made resulting in scrapping the tax in favour of an educational advertising campaign similar to that which is about to start in the UK.

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

Related topics: Ingredients, Gum

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