By gum! A new approach to litter

Posted on: July 11, 2019 at 4:03 pm

Hounslow Highways, working in partnership with Hounslow Council, has launched a campaign in conjunction with the Chewing Gum Action Group (CGAC) and Keep Britain Tidy (KBT) to reduce the blight of gum litter in the borough.

To mark the campaign launch, a stretch of pavement outside Isleworth Station was transformed with brightly coloured spots highlighting the epidemic that is irresponsible gum litter.

Hounslow Highways enforcement officers have carried out gum counts at ten hotspots in the borough and will be collecting data to measure changes to gum littering before and after the campaign. They will also be working with CGAC to measure any changes to public reaction and awareness.

Officers are also providing businesses with gum wrappers to distribute to customers purchasing chewing gum in a drive to deter people from dropping it on the floor, where it leaves an unsightly mark which can only be removed using specialist cleaning equipment.

Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor Amrit Mann, said: “Last year, over £40k was spent on removing chewing gum from pavements across the borough.

“We hope that this campaign will encourage gum chewers to bin their gum the right way and understand that they can play a part in making Hounslow a more attractive place to live.

“Anyone who chooses to ignore our calls for cleanliness could see themselves faced with a fine of £80.”

The campaign is supported by brightly coloured street banners to encourage residents and visitors to ‘bin it your way’ by dropping their gum litter in to a bin, and not on the floor.

Hounslow Highways Service Director, Rob Gillespie, said: “We want residents of Hounslow to feel immensely proud of where they live which is why we have partnered with the CGAC this year to raise awareness and proactively tackle the issue of gum litter.

“With the investment we are putting into Hounslow’s pavements, we need to do everything to keep them free of items with staining potential.”

The annual campaign sees representatives from the chewing gum industry, Government and KBT working with councils and Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) across the whole of the UK to develop local initiatives to reduce chewing gum litter.

CGAG campaign co-ordinator Kristian Bentham added: “Every year for the past ten years, the Chewing Gum Action Group campaign has delivered some positive results.

“Through our creative campaign this year, we wanted to highlight that dropping gum is still littering and one that greatly affects the local area.

“We have no doubt this year’s visual campaign will raise further awareness and have a lasting impact on residents and shoppers. We are delighted to be working with Hounslow Highways this year to help them create a cleaner place to live and work.”