Ford Road in Upton, King Street in Egremont and, seen here, Wallasey Village, are among the areas that are having a 'deep clean', thanks to a grant of £1.2 million to 50 councils.
Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said:
Littering blights our communities, spoils our countryside, harms our wildlife and wastes taxpayers’ money when cleaning it up. That’s why we’re working with gum producers to tackle chewing gum stains.
After the success of the first round of funding, this next slice will give councils further support to clean up our towns and cities.
In its first year the task force awarded 44 grants worth a total of £1.2 million, benefitting 53 councils who were able to clean an estimated 2.5km2 of pavement, an area larger than 467 football pitches.
By combining targeted street cleaning with specially designed signage to encourage people to bin their gum, participating councils achieved reductions in gum littering of up to 80% in the first two months. Monitoring and evaluation carried out by Behaviour Change has shown that a reduced rate of gum littering is still being observed six months after clean-up and the installation of prevention materials.
Allison Ogden-Newton OBE, Keep Britain Tidy’s chief executive, said:
Chewing gum litter is highly visible on our high streets and is both difficult and expensive to clean up, so the support for councils provided by the Chewing Gum Task Force and the gum manufacturers is very welcome.
However, once the gum has been cleaned up, it is vital to remind the public that when it comes to litter, whether it’s gum or anything else, there is only one place it should be – in the bin – and that is why the behaviour change element of the task force’s work is so important.
Littering is a criminal offence. In the Prime Minister’s Anti-social Behaviour Action Plan, we have committed to raising the upper limit on spot fines later this year from £150 to £500 in England.
To tackle littering of drinks containers, from 2025 we will introduce a deposit return scheme for drinks containers where people will be incentivised to recycle their bottles and cans by placing a small deposit on drinks products.
We have also banned some of the most littered plastic items in England and plan to introduce further bans from October 2023.