Of all the items that end up as litter, one of them can’t be swept away and that’s chewing gum.
To tackle the problem, gum manufacturers, governments and the charity Keep Britain Tidy run an annual campaign to encourage people to dispose of their gum correctly.
The campaigns are funded by gum manufacturers: The Wrigley Company and Perfetti Van Melle. The group also receives support from Defra, the Scottish and Welsh governments, Keep Wales Tidy, Zero Waste Scotland, the Food and Drink Federation and the Chartered Institute of Wastes Management (CIWM). It’s a unique example of competing companies pooling resources to educate consumers about how to properly dispose of their product.
Each year, local authorities and business improvement districts (BIDs) are invited to submit applications for the campaign to run in their area.
Participants are provided with colourful eye-catching posters that encourage people to bin chewing gum their way. The campaign focuses on positive upbeat messaging supported by an enforcement strapline.
The target of the campaign is really broad. Old, young, man, woman, if you chew gum then do the right thing. Bin it your way.
In 2014, 12 campaigns were selected across the UK and we saw an impressive 38% average reduction of dropped gum in monitored areas with some areas recording reductions of up to 90%.