Mayor of Fingal Cllr. Anthony Lavin launches 2018 gum litter campaign

July 11, 2018 0

The Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Anthony Lavin launched the Gum Litter Taskforce’s gum litter education campaign in Swords last week.  The Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, Paul Reid, and Tony Egan, Ger Byrne and Derek McKitterick of the Council’s Environment Division were also in attendance.

The launch marks a newly signed three year negotiated agreement between government and the chewing gum industry.

The Gum Litter Taskforce exists to change the public’s behaviour by encouraging correct gum disposal through a targeted education awareness campaign. 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[1].

Research commissioned by the Gum Litter Taskforce (GLT) and conducted by Kantar Millward Brown during the 2017 campaign has demonstrated the campaign’s positive effect on people’s behaviour towards gum disposal. The 2017 campaign resulted in 93% of people stating that they regard chewing gum as litter, highlighting the campaign’s success in educating the public.

The latest results show 86% of people saying they dispose of their gum correctly, compared with just 54% in 2006 when the campaign began.

Speaking at the launch, the Mayor of Fingal Cllr. Anthony Lavin 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.”

Chief Executive of Fingal County, Paul Reid said: “Protecting the environment is a priority for Fingal County Council. I am delighted that we can help to drive the Gum Litter Taskforce and educate the public about how to correctly dispose of chewing gum. The success of this campaign will help to keep Fingal clean and tidy.”

The GLT includes representatives of the chewing gum industry; Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment; Food Drink Ireland; local authority representatives and civic society.

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.”