New campaign raises awareness of chewing gum littering

Published Tuesday, 3rd October 2017
New campaign raises awareness of chewing gum littering.
Rotherham Council's Cabinet Member for Waste, Roads and Community Safety Cllr Emma Hoddinott and Head of Street Scene Martin Raper inspect the pavements in the town centre before the industrial high pressure wash is put into action.

Rotherham Council is raising awareness of responsible gum disposal with a new campaign to encourage people to appreciate their urban environment.

Evidence shows that people are less likely to drop gum in a natural open space than in an urban environment so the Gum Forest campaign – launched by the national Chewing Gum Action Group - aims to prompt people to change their attitude to dropping gum, no matter where they are.

The campaign also includes a series of colourful posters, adverts, and banners featuring people using creative ways to put their chewing gum in the bin under a #binityourway theme.

Locally, the campaign forms part of Rotherham’s wider Love Where You Live initiative, which encourages residents to help put the pride back into Rotherham by doing small things - such as litterpicking - to make the borough a greener, cleaner and happier place to live and visit.

Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Waste, Roads and Community Safety Cllr Emma Hoddinott said: "Chewing gum on pavements is ugly and unsightly. People think twice about dropping gum in a beautiful green landscape, and we want to get people to appreciate an attractive urban environment in the same way.”

As part of the campaign, Council officers joined Cllr Hoddinott in Rotherham town centre with a new gum and graffiti removal machine currently visiting areas of the borough including Rotherham town centre, Wath and Dinnington. The industrial-sized hot water high pressure wash has been designed to meet the needs of today’s tough commercial cleaning environment.

The average piece of gum costs about 3p to buy - but up to 50 times that to clean up per square metre (£1.50)*. As most chewing gum is not biodegradable, once it is trodden into the pavement it requires specialised equipment to remove.

Residents face a £80 Fixed Penalty Notice if they drop litter, with the potential for prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000 if they choose not to pay the initial fine.

For more information on the Gum Forest campaign, or join the conversation using #gumforest #binityourway and #RotherhamLWYL

Go to the Chewing Gum action group website

*Figures supplied by Local Government Association