Galway County Council has officially launched the national 2021 Gum Litter Taskforce, which aims to literally keep chewing gum off the streets.
The National Gum Litter Taskforce is an environmental initiative that was set up to develop and implement an awareness campaign to reduce the amount of chewing gum being disposed of on the street.
Cathoirleach of Galway County Council Peter Keaveney launched the 2021 campaign, which is an extension of the 2018-2020 cycle that has been rolled over due to COVID-19.
Speaking at the launch, Cathaoirleach Keaveney said “We can never underestimate the pride that people have in their local towns and villages.”
“As ever, I am confident that the people throughout Galway will do their county and local community proud by getting behind the Gum Litter Taskforce campaign in an effort to invoke positive change within their local communities.”
Among the initiatives being undertaken in this year’s campaign is a schools education programme aimed at first year secondary school students called ‘Bin It!’.
The GLT is also sponsoring three awards in the TidyTowns competition, and has created a virtual nationwide advertising campaign, backed by local council led events.
Since it was created in 2007, the amount of chewing gum being dropped as a percentage of overall litter has declined by 64%.
Paul Kelly, Chairman of the GLT added “It is great to see the GLT campaign return and continue its success in changing the public’s behaviour towards gum litter.”
“Since 2007, we have seen a significant decline in the amount of gum litter present throughout the streets, villages and towns of Ireland.”
“Alongside the Green Schools, Tidy Towns and Neat Streets programmes, this campaign aims to play a significant role in the overall reduction of litter and contribute to the betterment of the environment.”
“The relaunch of the GLT campaign in its revised format this year, along with our advertising campaign and Bin It! school education programme, can only be successful through continued support from our schools and local communities.”
Research commissioned by the Gum Litter Taskforce and conducted by Kantar Millward Brown during the 2019 campaign highlighted the campaign’s continued positive effect on people’s behaviour towards gum disposal.
In 2019, the results showed that 88% of people said that they always dispose of their gum correctly, which was up from 54% when the campaign first began.