Sticky situation shows progress
London— A new national campaign
to tackle gum litter will be rolled out next year following the
success of three Defra-funded campaigns.
The sticky problem was addressed
earlier this year in local campaigns using a series of awareness-raising
advertisements, with the threat of a £50 fine for those
caught dropping gum.
In Preston, the campaign helped
to reduce gum litter by 80 per cent. Meanwhile in Manchester and
Maidstone, as well as Preston, a combination of modern posters
and catchy by-lines improved awareness of the problem.
Now authorities up and down the
country will have a chance to address the problem thanks to more
funding from the Chewing Gum Action Group (CGAG).
The Group - formed of, among
others, chewing gum manufacturers, the Local Government Association,
‘Keep Britain Tidy’, the Improvement and Development
Agency and Defra - has put forward the funds to support at least
a dozen more high profile advertising campaigns.
The three pilot campaigns were
run simultaneously in Manchester, Preston and Maidstone. Each
tested a different combination of advertising (paid for by CGAG),
disposal solutions (such as gum pouches), enforcement and local
The advertising slogan - ‘...thanks
for binning your gum when you’re done’ - was remembered
by over 55 per cent of those questioned in the post-campaign surveys,
while the gum pouches, which provide a clean disposal option when
there are no bins around, were also well-received.
However, it was the threat of
the fines that provided the greatest disincentive to potential
In June, the first measures under
the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act came into force,
including clarification that chewing gum is litter and confirming
that people who drop gum risk £50 fines - and it was this
information in the campaigns that provided the most convincing
deterrent to potential gum droppers.