Lifestyle

Gum has got to go: Gum Litter Taskforce launched

A Gum Litter Taskforce Campaign was launched by Mayor of Waterford City and Council John O'Leary and Dungarvan Tidy Towns members last week.

The Gum Litter Taskforce is an environmental initiative that was set up to raise awareness and reduce gum litter in the most sustainable way.

"We look forward to working alongside the Gum Litter Taskforce to ensure that our beautiful Déise remains Ireland’s Cleanest City,” Mayor O'Leary said.

Since 2007, Ireland has achieved a 70% reduction in chewing gum litter, with it only accounting for 8% of all litter now.

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The 2019 campaign maintained an all-time high of 93% of people stating that they regard chewing gum as litter. this number is up from 74% when the campaign first began 14 years ago.

63% of people agree that the campaign is at least fairly likely to stop them from dropping gum. 60% of people said the campaign has made them want to change the way they dispose of their gum and 48% of respondents claimed that they stopped dropping gum because they saw the Bin-It campaign, up from 41% in 2019.

As part of the Gum Litter Taskforce, the ‘Bin It!’ education programme will travel across the country and deliver 60 performances a year to primary schools nationwide, with the ambition to visit 180 schools by 2025.

The ‘Bin It!’ school roadshow encourages students to responsibly dispose of litter, particularly gum litter, through actor-led workshops.

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The latest cycle of the campaign will see the programme shift its focus from secondary school students to those in fifth and sixth class. A return to in-person workshops will kicks off in September.

 In 2020 and 2021, Waterford was judged by IBAL and declared Ireland’s Cleanest City, with Dungarvan and other towns receiving awards in the 2021 Tidy Towns Special Awards.

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