Fines highlighted in gum campaign
Britain's largest campaign to tackle the menace of carelessly discarded chewing gum has been launched in a bid to cut an annual clean-up bill of up to £150 million.
The Chewing Gum Action Group hopes its "buy it, chew it, bin it" campaign will persuade "gum litterers" not to drop gum onto pavements, saving council funds and improving the environment.
Commenting on the campaign, Environment minister Lord Henley said: "People should think about the mess they make when they drop chewing gum. Millions of pounds are spent each year clearing chewing gum off the streets, which could be better spent on important services."
The scheme, involving local authorities in both England and Wales, will see advertising and even a bespoke mosaic used to encourage responsible disposal of gum.
Running for four weeks, the campaign will highlight the fines imposed for littering and will see a mosaic made of chewing gum deployed in selected city centre streets.
Several local authority areas - including Bristol, Coventry, Crawley, Croydon, Gloucester, Gosport, Herefordshire, Nottingham, Oldham, Wolverhampton and Carmarthenshire - are taking part in the initiative.
The Action Group, which has been attempting to reduce gum litter since 2006, brings together a number of organisations including Defra, Keep Britain Tidy, the Food and Drink Federation and the Local Government Association.