Councils receive funding to tackle chewing gum littering

Environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy has announced the 54 councils that will receive a share of more than £1.2 million in grants to clean up chewing gum stains from streets, in addition to signage to stop littering occuring in the first place. 
  
Bristol, Walsall, Sunderland and Bury will all benefit from the third round of funding from the Chewing Gum Task Force. 
 
Councils spend around £7 million cleaning up littered gum and, according to Keep Britain Tidy, around 77 per cent of England’s streets and 99 per cent of retail sites are stained by it. 

Allison Ogden-Newton OBE, Keep Britain Tidy’s chief executive, said: “Gum litter makes streets look dirty and uncared for. 
 
“Our own research shows three quarters of sites we surveyed are blighted by chewing gum staining, and we know that cleaning it up costs councils – and therefore council tax-payers - millions of pounds. 
 
“That’s why we are delighted to be administering the third wave of this much-needed support for councils provided by the Chewing Gum Task Force.” 
 
Naomi Jones, corporate affairs director at Mars Wrigley UK, said: “Mars Wrigley is proud to invest in litter prevention and education. The Task Force has already made significant progress, supporting almost 100 councils and cleaning nearly 3 million square meters of streets."  
 
Hayley Osborne, Communications & Sustainability Manager at Perfetti Van Melle, said: "We're witnessing positive changes in our streets and citizen behaviour. We're excited to build on these successes in year three.”  
  
Launched in 2021, the Chewing Gum Task Force was established by Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and is administered by Keep Britain Tidy, with funding provided by gum producers.  
 
The Chewing Gum Task Force brings together some of the country’s major chewing gum producers, including Mars Wrigley and Perfetti Van Melle. The producers have pledged up to £10 million over five years via the scheme to tackle gum littering. 
  
Monitoring and evaluation carried out by Behaviour Change – a not-for-profit social enterprise – found participating councils achieved reductions in gum littering of between 60 per cent and 80 per cent in the first two months. 

Councils reported cleaning an estimated 440,000 m2 of pavements, the same area as the entire Vatican City, and all councils reported that their grant enabled them to effectively tackle gum litter. 

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