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Government And Food Industry Sign 'Gum Litter Taskforce' Agreement

By Donna Ahern
Government And Food Industry Sign 'Gum Litter Taskforce' Agreement

The Government and the food and drinks industry in Ireland has recently signed a negotiated agreement in the form of the Gum Litter Taskforce (GLT).

The 2018 campaign is the first in a three-year cycle which commenced on foot of a negotiated agreement between the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment and Food Drink Ireland (FDI) representing the gum industry.

Minister for Communication, Climate Action and the Environment, Denis Naughten recently officially launched the gum litter education campaign in Strokestown, Co Roscommon.

“The campaign continues to demonstrate the positive impact it is having on towns and communities across the country,” Minister Naughten said.

“It is important we continue to capitalise on these successes by driving the campaign further. Although very positive work has been done to date in tackling the issue of littered gum in our towns and cities, we need to ensure momentum is maintained towards ridding it from our streets entirely.”


Positive Effect

Research commissioned by the Gum Litter Taskforce (GLT) and conducted by Kantar Millward Brown during the 2017 campaign has demonstrated the campaign’s positive effect on people’s behaviour towards gum disposal.

"Beginning in 2007, the campaign has seen sustained and marked progress in changing people’s attitudes to littered gum which has in turn positively impacted upon behavioural patterns when it comes to gum disposal," Paul Kelly, chairman of the GLT added.

"As ever, we are committed to continuing efforts to eradicate gum from our streets entirely.
The latest results show 86% of people saying they dispose of their gum correctly, compared with just 54% in 2006 when the campaign began."

Confectionary Sector Support


“Mars Ireland and Wrigley are delighted once more to be part of such a successful campaign. Although the GLT is funded by industry, it could not have achieved the level of success to date without the active and enthusiastic participation of local authorities up and down the country to whom we are very grateful,” said Katherine Hogan, corporate affairs director, Mars Ireland.

“This year’s campaign contains a number of new platforms and means through which we will be able to extend our awareness raising and educational outreach amongst the public and we are excited to see how this will play out.”

National Litter Monitoring Pollution System

This year’s campaign launch coincides with the release of the latest report of the National Litter Monitoring Pollution System which shows that the percentage of chewing gum as a proportion of litter dropped to 8% in 2017 from 15% in 2016.

It has been successful to date in changing the public’s behaviour by encouraging correct gum disposal through a targeted education awareness campaign.


Last year’s campaign maintained an all-time high of 93% of people stating that they regard chewing gum as litter, pointing to the attitudinal impact which the campaign has affected since it first began.

© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition. 

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