The Gum Litter Taskforce’s gum litter education campaign was officially launched this week by Mayor of Galway City, Councillor Níall McNelis.
The taskforce has been successful to date in changing the public’s behaviour by encouraging people to bin their gum, through a targeted education awareness campaign.
The latest report of the National Litter Monitoring Pollution System has shown that the percentage of chewing gum as a proportion of litter dropped to 8% in 2017 from 15% in 2016.
Last year’s campaign maintained an all-time high of 93% of people stating that they regard chewing gum as litter, pointing to the attitudinal impact which the campaign has affected since it first began.
Research commissioned by the Gum Litter Taskforce (GLT) and conducted by Kantar Millward Brown during the 2017 campaign has demonstrated the campaign’s positive effect on people’s behaviour towards gum disposal.
The latest results show 86% of people saying they dispose of their gum correctly, compared with just 54% in 2006 when the campaign began.
Speaking at the launch, Mayor of Galway City, Councillor Níall McNelissaid: “The Gum Litter Taskforce is a fantastic initiative for communities to get involved in.
“Each year, we see communities coming together with the common aim of reducing the level of littered gum within their respective localities.
“The campaign has achieved positive results to date in this regard, and I hope this year’s campaign will continue to further build on those results”.
Paul Kelly, Chairman of the GLT added: “Each year, the GLT campaign endeavours to educate people on the proper manner in which to dispose of their used gum.
“Beginning in 2007, the campaign has seen sustained and marked progress in changing people’s attitudes to littered gum which has in turn positively impacted upon behavioural patterns when it comes to gum disposal. As ever, we are committed to continuing efforts to eradicate gum from our streets entirely.
“Today’s national launch marks an important part of a wider nationwide campaign which also includes a national advertising campaign and a school’s education programme, Bin It!”.
The 2018 campaign is the first in a three-year cycle which commenced on foot of a negotiated agreement between the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment and Food Drink Ireland (FDI) representing the gum industry.