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Laois launches campaign to tackle chewing gum litter

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Michael Rainey, Director of Services- Laois Co. Council, Lenka Drapakova, Educate Together,Cllr. Tom Mulhall, Cathaoirleach, Laois Co. Council and Samanta Balliinsaityz , at the local launch of the Gum Litter Task Force Campaign in, Portlaoise. Photo: Michael Scully

A campaign has been launched in Laois to get people to dispose of gum responsibly and not dump it on the ground.

The 2017 Gum Litter Taskforce (GLT) gum litter education campaign was launched in Portlaoise by cathaoirleach of Laois County Council Tom Mulhall this week.

Those behind the campaign say it has had huge success to date in changing the public’s behaviour to gum disposal and in encouraging correct gum disposal through a targeted education awareness campaign.

According to research carried out by Millward Brown on behalf of the Gum Litter Taskforce (GLT) during the 2016 campaign, the highest number of people to date (93%) agree that dropping gum is littering and almost six in seven people (84%) claiming they always dispose of their gum correctly.

Speaking at the launch Cathaoirleach Mulhall said: “This is a great campaign for communities up and down the country to get involved in. It unites communities in a common goal to responsibly dispose of chewing gum and continue to contribute to the positive results the campaign has seen to date.”

Speaking at the official launch of the 2017 campaign, Paul Kelly, Chairman of the GLT said: “Each year the campaign seeks to educate people on the correct disposal of gum and while we have seen very positive results to date, we want to continue encouraging a positive behaviour change amongst the small minority who are still disposing of gum incorrectly.

Bin it!

“The latest research results highlighted a significant increase in those who say they never drop gum which points towards the success of the campaign since its inception at targeting younger people who are taking the message home with them and into households across Ireland. The national launch today is just one element of this nationwide campaign which also includes a national advertising campaign and a schools education programme, Bin It!” he said.

Industry representative Alex West; Senior Manager, Corporate Affairs – UK & Ireland for the Wrigley Company said: “The Wrigley Company is delighted to be the industry representative on the GLT and be part of such a successful campaign. The Gum Litter Taskforce is a unique industry funded initiative that runs in partnership with local and national government and civic society to tackle a common goal through awareness and education. The campaign results to date have demonstrated the success our approach has had in changing behaviour and attitudes to gum littering.”

This is the third year of the latest campaign, the result of an agreement between the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment and Food Drink Ireland (FDI) representing the gum industry, to fund a national gum litter awareness programme from 2015-2017.

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