A gum litter education campaign has been launched in Dungarvan, Co Waterford.
Mayor of Waterford City and County Council, Cllr. Pat Nugent was joined by members of Dungarvan Tidy Towns, who are working continuously on their entry into this year’s Entente Florale competition.
Gum Litter Taskforce began their campaigns in 2008 and has been successful in changing the public’s behaviour by encouraging people to bin their chewing gum.
The latest report of the National Litter Monitoring Pollution System has shown that the percentage of chewing gum as a proportion of litter dropped to 8% in 2017 from 15% in 2016.
Last year’s campaign maintained an all-time high of 93% of people stating that they regard chewing gum as litter, pointing to the attitudinal impact which the campaign has affected since it first began.
Speaking at the launch, the Mayor of Waterford City and County Council, Cllr. Pat Nugent said: “The Gum Litter Taskforce is a fantastic initiative for communities to get involved in. Each year, we see communities coming together with the common aim of reducing the level of littered gum within their respective localities. The campaign has achieved positive results to date in this regard, and I hope this year’s campaign will continue to further build on those results. Waterford City and County Council have recently invested in a gum removal machine. This will be rotated between Dungarvan, Tramore and Waterford to remove gum litter from our streets.”
Paul Kelly, Chairman of the GLT added: “Each year, the GLT campaign endeavours to educate people on the proper manner in which to dispose of their used gum. Beginning in 2007, the campaign has seen sustained and marked progress in changing people’s attitudes to littered gum which has in turn positively impacted upon behavioural patterns when it comes to gum disposal. As ever, we are committed to continuing efforts to eradicate gum from our streets entirely. Today’s national launch marks an important part of a wider nationwide campaign which also includes a national advertising campaign and a school’s education programme, Bin It!”.
Katherine Hogan, Corporate Affairs Director, Mars Ireland said: “Mars Ireland and Wrigley are delighted once more to be part of such a successful campaign. Although the GLT is funded by industry, it could not have achieved the level of success to date without the active and enthusiastic participation of local authorities up and down the country to whom we are very grateful. This year’s campaign contains a number of new platforms and means through which we will be able to extend our awareness raising and educational outreach amongst the public and we are excited to see how this will play out. We look forward to playing our part in tackling the issue of littered gum and working alongside local communities in achieving this goal”.
The 2018 campaign is the first in a three-year cycle which commenced on foot of a negotiated agreement between the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment and Food Drink Ireland (FDI) representing the gum industry.