Limerick City Council Tackles Chewing Gum Litter and says Bin your Gum when you’re Done!

Thursday July 9, 2009


Limerick City Council is tackling the city’s chewing gum litter with a new awareness drive which is being launched today, Thursday, July 9th.


The City Council is taking part in the national Gum Litter Taskforce (GLT) Campaign, joining 29 other councils in the joint initiative between the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and the chewing gum industry.


Mayor Kevin Kiely launched the Limerick initiative on Bedford Row with some local children, the Spin South West “SPINIs” and giant colourful anti litter puppets. Local business leaders, city council environmental inspectors and staff were also present at the launch.


In the five Irish cities monitored in 2008, there was an overall decrease of chewing gum litter of 36% since the beginning of the campaign, with a huge 52% decline in Limerick.


Mayor Kiely described the initiative as “extremely worthwhile”.


It is through campaigns such as this which incorporate education, poster advertising and enforcement measures to ensure the greater visibility of fines for littering that an effective and sustainable solution to the problem of gum litter can be found,” he said.


We look forward to building on the success of the 2008 campaign with even stronger results in Limerick in the coming year.”



Limerick City Council’s Director of Service, Caroline Curley , said: Chewing gum on the street is litter – it’s unsightly and expensive to remove and detracts from the image of Limerick.  In a recent initiative with the Future Limerick Action Group, (FLAG) it cost an average of 25 cents to remove each piece of gum from the street.”


The 2009 GLT Campaign follows on from highly successful campaigns in 2007 and 2008 and is focused on raising awareness of the gum litter issue in order to educate consumers about the responsible disposal of gum and achieve behaviour change in relation to the proper disposal of chewing gum.


Chairman of the Gum Litter Taskforce, Paul Kelly , said Limerick City Council’s decision to participate in the campaign once again this year is very welcome.

The more local authorities that participate the better as it gives the campaign more reach throughout the country,” he said. “I look forward to working with Limerick City Council during the year ahead and, given the success of the past two years, I believe we can expect continuing improvements.”


The campaign will involve a combination of outdoor advertising, in-store and around store advertising, point of sale materials and the promotion of greater awareness of litter law enforcement through higher visibility of litter fines for irresponsible disposal of gum in the local authority areas throughout the country.


The campaign, which will run from June 2009 until the beginning of October, represents the centrepiece of the programme of activity of the Gum Litter Taskforce (GLT) which was established in 2006 as a joint initiative between the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and the gum industry as represented by the Food and Drinks Industry Ireland (FDII) a business sector of IBEC.


The 2009 initiative will build upon the very real and significant improvements which have been made in relation to gum litter awareness and disposal behaviour over the past two years. In the five cities monitored during 2008, there was an overall decrease of chewing gum litter of 36% since the beginning of the campaign.


In addition, research carried out on behalf of the Gum Litter Taskforce by Lansdowne Market Research shows an increase of 16% in the number of people who say they have never dropped gum while 17% now say they “used to but stopped”, up from 14% in 2007.


Furthermore, the perception of chewing gum as litter has increased from 79% to 87% in past year while reported spitting is also down with 80% now claiming never to spit gum compared to 73% in 2007 and 58% in June 2006.


The core objective of the initiative is to tackle the root cause of the irresponsible behaviour through education,” Mr Kelly continued. “It is through campaigns such as this which incorporate education, poster advertising and enforcement measures to ensure the greater visibility of fines for littering that an effective and sustainable solution to the problem will be found and lead to a long-term change in gum littering behaviour. It is our earnest belief that the campaign will have a real, long term and sustainable impact on the levels of gum litter on our streets and we look forward to building on the success of the 2008 campaign with even stronger results in the coming year.”



Further information:


Paul Kelly,

Chairman

Gum Litter Taskforce 

Tel: 01 605 1621

Mobile: 087 202 5545


Ciara Farrell,

Limerick City Council,

Tel: 061 407358


2009 GUM LITTER TASKFORCE CAMPAIGN PARTICIPANTS:

The city councils of Dublin, Galway, Limerick, Waterford and Cork, County Councils of Cavan, Carlow*, Cork*, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, Donegal, Fingal, Galway*, Kilkenny, Kerry*, Laois, Limerick*, Leitrim, Longford, Monaghan, Mayo, Offaly, Roscommon, South Dublin, Sligo*, South Tipperary, Wexford, Waterford and Westmeath. Tralee* Town Council and Ennis* Town Council is also participating in the programme.


* Denotes new participants in the campaign.


About the Gum Litter Taskforce

The Gum Litter Taskforce (GLT) was established following a negotiated agreement between the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and the chewing gum industry.


The joint initiative is the result of negotiations between the Department and Food and Drink Industry Ireland – a business sector of IBEC - on behalf of the chewing gum industry. This follows the publication of the Government Study on Chewing Gum, Fast-Food packaging and ATM receipt litter.


The GLT is charged with developing and implementing an Action Programme to tackle gum litter in the most sustainable way – by changing behaviour, the root cause of the issue.


Members of the GLT include representatives of the chewing gum industry, Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Food and Drink Industry Ireland, Department of Education and Science, ENFO, ECO UNESCO, Foroige, local authority representatives and Retail Ireland.

Last update:13/07/2009

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