A sticky situation gets £10m solution

Government has launched a taskforce to tackle chewing gum litter across England’s streets – with major producers investing up to £10m

Big Zero Report 2023

The government has brought together major chewing gum producers for a £10 million partnership aiming to remove gum litter from UK streets.

The scheme includes producers such as Mars Wrigley and will see the companies involved invest up to £10 million during the next five years to reduce gum litter.

The annual clean-up cost of chewing gum litter is estimated to be around £7 million, with charity Keep Britain Tidy stating that 87% of English streets are stained with gum.

The government has stated that littering is a criminal offence and it is increasing on-the-spot penalties for offenders to £150, which can rise to £2,500 if convicted in court.

Rebecca Pow, Energy Minister, who announced the taskforce today, said: “The stains of discarded chewing gum are a blight on our communities, spoiling our streets and wasting millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money.

“This new scheme means chewing gum producers are not only helping to clean up towns and cities as they welcome people back to our high streets, but crucially taking action to prevent people littering in the first place.

“We are committed to building back better and greener and this commitment to making town centres a more attractive and inviting place is a key part of our long-term strategy to breathe new life into our communities.”

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