A new campaign aimed at further reducing gum litter in Laois has been launched.
Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council, Councillor Conor Bergin, has officially launched the National Gum Litter Taskforce Campaign.
The Gum Litter Taskforce (GLT) is an environmental initiative that was set up to develop and implement an awareness campaign to reduce gum litter.
Supported and funded by the chewing gum industry, the GLT initiative has made very real and significant improvements in relation to gum litter awareness and disposal behaviour over the last 14 years since its inception in 2007.
The campaign is looking to build on the positive momentum of previous years’ campaigns and is making a strong return for 2021 after being postponed last year due to COVID-19.
This year’s campaign will be different in that the national and local authority launch events will be done virtually, and the campaign will have a stronger social media presence in order to reach a wider and younger audience.
Research commissioned by the Gum Litter Taskforce and conducted by Kantar Millward Brown during the 2019 campaign highlighted the campaign’s continued positive effect on people’s behaviour towards gum disposal.
In 2019, the results showed that 88% of people said that they always dispose of their gum correctly, which was up from 54% when the campaign first began.
This shift in public behaviour has been evident throughout the 13 years that the campaign has been running, as the proportion of gum as a percentage of litter has decreased by 64%.
Speaking at the launch, Cathaoirleach Conor Bergin said “We can never underestimate the pride that people have in their local towns and villages.
“As ever, I am confident that the people throughout Laois will do their town and local community proud by getting behind the Gum Litter Taskforce campaign in an effort to invoke positive change within their local communities.”
Paul Kelly, Chairman of the GLT added; “It is great to see the GLT campaign return and continue its success in changing the public’s behaviour towards gum litter.
“Since 2007, we have seen a significant decline in the amount of gum litter present throughout the streets, villages and towns of Ireland. Alongside the Green Schools, Tidy Towns and Neat Streets programmes, this campaign aims to play a significant role in the overall reduction of litter and contribute to the betterment of the environment.
“The relaunch of the GLT campaign in its revised format this year, along with our advertising campaign and Bin It! school education programme, can only be successful through continued support from our schools and local communities.”