Minister Bruton launches 2019 gum litter campaign

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton, has today officially launched the Gum Litter Taskforce’s gum litter education campaign in Raheny Village, Dublin.
The Gum Litter Taskforce (GLT) has been successful to date in changing the public’s behaviour by encouraging correct gum disposal through a targeted education and awareness campaign. The 2018 campaign maintained an all-time high of 93% of people stating that they regard chewing gum as litter, up from 74% when the campaign first began in 2007, pointing to the attitudinal impact which the campaign has had to date.

Research commissioned by the Gum Litter Taskforce and conducted by Kantar Millward Brown during the 2018 campaign has highlighted the campaign’s positive effect on people’s behaviour towards gum disposal. The latest results show that 88% of people said that they always dispose of their gum correctly, up from 54% when the campaign first began.

Speaking at the official launch of the 2019 campaign, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton said; “I am delighted to launch the 2019 Gum Litter Taskforce Campaign today here in Raheny. Tackling gum litter is part of a much wider challenge – how we dispose of waste properly and use our resources effectively more generally. Litter on our streets is a very tangible, visible example of the kind of damage that is being done. The GLT campaign has made great progress over the years in enacting positive behavioural and attitudinal change amongst the public when it comes to proper gum disposal, but more is required. Together, we must continue to work hard to tackle the issue of littered gum for the betterment of our environment and the overall streetscape of the communities in which we live and this campaign is very important in that regard.”

Paul Kelly, Chairman of the GLT added; “Since its inception, the GLT campaign has sought to educate the public on the correct manner in which to dispose of used gum in a bid to tackle improper gum disposal. The latest research results have shown how this ambition has been made a reality, with 88% of people now saying that they always dispose of their gum correctly. Going forward, we will look to build on these positive results further still and will continue in our efforts to fully rid our streets of littered gum. Today’s national campaign launch marks the beginning of a broader nationwide campaign which includes an advertising campaign and a school’s education programme, Bin It!”.

Katherine Hogan, Corporate Affairs Director, Mars Ireland said; “Mars Wrigley Ireland are delighted once again to be part of this positive and vibrant campaign. Through awareness raising and educational initiatives, the GLT campaign has had demonstrable success to date in changing behaviour and attitudes towards gum litter and encouraging positive gum disposal. Although industry funded, the GLT campaign would not have been able to reach the heights which it has to date without the enthusiastic buy in and hard work of local authorities and local communities right around the country in tackling the issue of littered gum head on. As ever, we look forward to matching this spirit of enthusiasm through our continued support for this campaign and to playing our part in tackling the issue of gum litter shoulder to shoulder with communities the length and breadth of the country.

The 2019 campaign is the second 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.

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