Peer pressure the number one deterrent of gum littering

PEER PRESSURE is now the number one deterrent of people throwing their used chewing gum on the streets.

That’s according to a new survey from the Gum Litter Taskforce (GLT), the national awareness campaign which aims to make gum litter an issue of the past.

Recent research published to coincide with the launch of the 2023 GLT Campaign showed that negative perception by others was the primary reason that those surveyed no longer littered their gum waste (58 per cent).

Knowledge of the €150 fine was also a leading factor, followed by negative experience of chewing gum litter.

The findings highlight the continued impact of the GLT, a joint initiative of the Department of Environment, Climate, and Communications, Food Drink Ireland, and the chewing gum industry, which has played a key role in promoting proper gum litter disposal since its launch in 2007.

Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter

87 per cent of people now report proper gum disposal, versus 49 per cent when the campaign began – an increase of 77.5 per cent.

Now in its sixteenth year, the GLT campaign travels to local authorities and schools across the country hosting its ‘Bin It!’ interactive roadshows, which promote responsible gum disposal by highlighting the environmental impacts of gum and general litter.

Kicking off in mid-June, this year’s roadshow will visit Limerick on August 2.

Demonstrating its continued resonance, last year 73 per cent of those who interacted with the campaign reported learning new information about the impacts of gum littering.

Reacting to the figures, Minister Ossian Smyth said: “The Department of the Environment, Climate, and Communications is proud to play a part in this important initiative.”

“Since 2007, the Gum Litter Taskforce has helped to drive a significant shift in attitude towards gum litter. Gum litter now stands at 8.6 per cent of all litter according to the 2022 National Litter Monitoring Survey, a remarkable decrease from the 26.4 per cent it stood at when the campaign first began.”

Corporate Affairs Specialist at Mars Ireland, Anne Sheeran, also welcomed the announcement: “Mars Ireland has been a proud partner of the Gum Litter Taskforce for the past 16 years. We are delighted to be kicking off the 2023 campaign with the support of the Department of Environment, Climate, and Communications.”

“We look forward to engaging with local authorities and students across the country to highlight positive environmental messages around proper gum disposal.”