London,
11
March
2012
|
00:00
Europe/London

Hackney backs gum campaign

A major national campaign to encourage people to bin their gum has been launched in Hackney following research which shows Londoners are litter bugs.

Half of Londoners admit to dropping litter according to research by the Chewing Gum Action Group, with each piece of chewing gum costing on average £1 to remove.

The survey discovered that we are a capital of litter bugs as 51% of Londoners came clean about not binning their rubbish. It also found that over 1 in 3 people, who live in London or surrounding areas, don’t think the capital is clean and tidy.

Hackney is one of 15 Olympic hosts nationwide to have pledged their support for the national campaign to help make Britain s streets free of littered gum.

The "Do your country proud... bin your gum" advertising campaign will run throughout March and April in Hackney, and calls on everyone to play their part in creating a cleaner, better Britain ahead of the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee by putting their gum in a bin.

The campaign is funded by the Chewing Gum Action Group which is a joint initiative between the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the chewing gum industry and Chartered Institution of Wastes Management. Its aim is to achieve a long-term solution to the irresponsible disposal of chewing gum.

Since 2005 the annual campaign has lead to reductions in chewing gum litter of up to 91%. In 2011 CGAG successfully reduced the amount of gum litter on the streets where it ran by 56%, a 6% improvement on the previous year.

The survey results also found that Londoners want to take more responsibility for their local areas, with 87%of respondents saying they would be willing to get involved in making their local community more attractive ahead of the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in the summer of 2012.

Councillor Feryal Demirci, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: "It costs on average £1 to remove each piece of gum and could cost more than £26,000 just to clear Mare Street, Amhurst Road and Old Street.

"This money could be better spent elsewhere in the borough and we need people s help to keep our streets clean and free from chewing gum.

"Everybody knows how disgusting it is to find a piece of gum stuck to your shoes or clothing and we hope that by encouraging people to think about their actions and dispose of gum properly we can tackle this issue."

The campaign will include advertising around the borough including at bus stops, cashpoints and tube stations and special chewing gum wraps will be handed out to help people bin their gum.

Environment Minister Lord Taylor, who is supporting the campaign nationally, said binning chewing gum properly could make a real difference.

"2012 is a very important year for Great Britain and we are asking the public to make our streets cleaner and nicer places to enjoy by binning their chewing gum responsibly," he said.

"The Chewing Gum Action Group has been running for several years and we ve seen a reduction in the amount of littered gum on our streets in communities where we ve campaigned."

Ends

Media contact: Alastair Smith, 020 8356 4964, alastair.smith@hackney.gov.uk

Photographs are attached to accompany this release, credit www.beccysmartphotography.co.uk