Merton has launched a campaign to tackle chewing gum litter on its streets and pavements.
The council are hitting the streets with a series of road shows across the borough during March, to encourage residents and visitors to Merton to take responsibility of their litter and put used gum in a bin.
The road shows are part of a national campaign funded by the Chewing Gum Action Group (CGAG), a joint initiative between the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the chewing gum industry and Chartered Institution of Waste Management.
Through meeting the public face-to-face, the council hopes to convince people to bin their gum and other litter and not sling it.
Cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration, Councillor Andrew Judge said: “When chewing gum is carelessly thrown away it gets trodden into the pavements and makes the area look grimy and dirty.
“We spend over £3million each year keeping the streets clean in Merton, money we would prefer to spend on other services. We will not tolerate people dropping litter of any form and anyone spotted committing this environmental crime faces a £75 fine. Let’s keep Merton clean by binning our gum and other litter.”
Vice-Chair of London Councils Transport and Environment Committee Councillor Nilgun Canver, said: “Dropping chewing gum on the ground is anti-social. Litter is a blight on our local environment. We all need to do our bit to keep London’s streets clean, bin your gum.”
Note to editors
The fine for all litter including chewing gum is £75.00 currently discounted if paid before 10 days to £50.00.
Since 2005 CGAG’s annual campaign has led to reductions in chewing gum litter of up to 91%.
In 2011, the national campaign successfully reduced the amount of gum litter on London streets nationally by 56%, a 6% improvement on the previous year
About the Chewing Gum Action Group
· The Chewing Gum Action Group, set up in 2003, is chaired by Defra and brings together representatives from the chewing gum industry, Keep Britain Tidy, the Local Government Association (LGA), the Chartered Institute of Wastes Management, Keep Scotland Beautiful, Scottish Government, The Welsh Government, Northern Ireland Department of Environment and the Food and Drink Federation. The Chewing Gum Action Group helps local authorities tackle gum litter by providing the resources to plan, launch, implement and monitor local campaigns.
· The 15 partners taking part in the 2012 Chewing Gum Action Group’s campaign are:
– Bournemouth Council
– Cardiff Council
– Carmenthenshire County Council
– Coventry City Council
– Islington Council
– Highland Council
– Lewisham Council
– London Borough of Camden
– London Borough of Hackney
– London Borough of Haringey
– London Borough of Merton
– Newport City Council
– Nottingham City Council
– Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
– Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council
· More information on the group, past campaigns and research can be found at http://www.chewinggumactiongroup.org.uk