Hubbub and Gumdrop Ltd. ran an anti-chewing gum litter campaign from 26th May - 31st July 2015. 5051 portable gum bins were distributed to commuters and employees over 12 interspersed days. Local collection points were in situ during this period and returned gum would be recycled into new products. Users could deposit their full gumdrops to be entered into a competition. The prizes were made from recycled chewing gum.
Rationale: This tested the behaviour change theory that if you ‘make it easy’ for someone to engage in the desired behaviour, they are more likely to do it i.e giving people who chew gum portable bins makes it easier for them to dispose of their waste responsibly.
The amount of chewing gum litter decreased substantially throughout the campaign, even in the months when the amount of most litter types increased or fluctuated. In June and July, when chewing gum-specific activities were conducted at the site and Gumdrops were handed out, the reductions were of 54% and 26% respectively.
In August, when the chewing gum display was in place but no Gumdrops were handed out, chewing gum litter returned to the baseline counts, which may indicate that the Gumdrops were effective in reducing chewing gum litter. However, in September and October, chewing gum litter levels reduced again to 80% and 38% respectively despite no activities specific to chewing gum being held at the sites. This may be related to the seasonal factor and reduced footfall.
Following on from Neat Streets, Gumdrop was asked to undergo a similar campaign in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
It is possible to link the campaign to a competition, but keep it simple. The more steps you have in a campaign like this the harder it is to engage the public, especially in fast paced environments.