PEOPLE caught throwing chewing gum on the ground will face a €150 fine as part of a new nationwide crackdown.
The campaign, which was piloted in Cork in 2006 and ran again last year, will be expanded to 21 local authorities this year, it was announced yesterday.
The Gum Litter Taskforce’s (GLT) gum litter action campaign is designed to raise awareness of the gum litter problem, to change attitudes and to encourage people to dispose of their gum responsibly — in the bin.
Following a review and assessment of the pilot stages, it was found that the campaign raised awareness of the problem of gum litter and promoted its responsible disposal.
Cork mayor Donal Counihan said he was delighted to launch the expanded campaign in the city.
Cork City Council spends up to €30,000 every year cleaning gum from city pavements.
“As a participating city last year, we have seen first hand the increase in awareness about gum litter and the positive impact that the campaign has had on understanding that irresponsible disposal of gum will not be tolerated around the city,” Mr Counihan said. “We hope that Cork city can build on the success of last year’s campaign.”
The national campaign will involve outdoor advertising, in-store advertising, point-of-sale materials and the promotion of greater awareness of litter law enforcement.
Local authorities are expected to publicise litter fines for irresponsible disposal of gum in their areas. There will also be a national and regional radio advertising campaign to reinforce the responsible gum disposal messages.
An education roadshow has visited schools around the country as part of an ongoing programme run by the GLT to educate young people to dispose of their used gum properly.
The GLT was established in 2006 as a joint initiative between the Department of the Environment and the gum industry, represented by Food and Drink Industry Ireland (FDII) a business sector of IBEC.
The 21 local authority areas which will participate in the expanded campaign are Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick and
Waterford city councils, as well as Cavan, Fingal, North Tipperary, South Dublin, South Tipperary, Westmeath, Dunlaoghaire Rathdown, Monaghan, Longford, Leitrim, Wexford, Laois, Kildare, Kilkenny and Donegal county councils, as well as Westport town council.
GLT chairman, Paul Kelly, said he wants to build on the success of last year’s campaign.
“The number of local authorities taking part this year is proof of the growing momentum of this campaign,” he said. “By focusing on education, we aim to change people’s littering behaviour and the manner in which they dispose of their gum.
“I look forward to the second nationwide campaign making a lasting and positive difference to our streets and environment generally.
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