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Chewing gum tax is back on the table

A CHEWING gum tax could be on the way sooner rather than later.

Despite falling off the political agenda five years ago, officials for Green Minister John Gormley have confirmed that negotiations with industry chiefs have resumed.

The idea is also getting backing from some Fianna Fail representatives with Dublin TD Chris Andrews saying that a levy is the "only way forward".

Negotiations come following the end of the three-year campaign, 'The Gum Litter Task force' which was seen as an alternative to a gum tax.

Deputy Andrews argued that while the task force did "some fantastic work", it failed to stop gum blighting our streets.



Cleaning

He told the Herald: "A levy on the product could be directly used towards cleaning up city streets, allowing council finance to be diverted to other areas."

According to the TD, chewing gum accounts for 25pc of all food litter dropped on streets.

The cost of cleaning chewing gum from footpaths runs into millions of euro annually, with Dublin City Council alone spending more than €250,000 a year.

Deputy Andrews said: "The Minister for Environment needs to make manufacturers more accountable for the cost of cleaning up their product."

hnews@herald.ie


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