Campaign to stop chewing-gum litter in Mansfield

Be A Chum, Bin Your Gum is the message behind the Mansfield District Council campaign.
Be A Chum, Bin Your Gum is the message behind the Mansfield District Council campaign.

A new campaign to put a stop to the sticky problem of chewing-gum on the town’s pavements has been launched in Mansfield.

Gum litter is not only unsightly and unhealthy but also very costly to remove because it is not biodegradable.

So Mansfield District Council is urging everyone to back its campaign and also to adopt its slogan of ‘Be A Chum, Bin Your Gum!’

“Like most high streets across the country, Mansfield’s pavements are increasingly splattered with chewing-gum,” said Coun Andrew Tristram, the council’s portfolio holder for environment and wellbeing.

“We work hard to make the town a cleaner, more attractive environment for residents, visitors and businesses, so we hope this campaign will encourage people to walk the short distance to their nearest bin and to throw their chewing-gum away.

“People might not realise that this type of littering is difficult and expensive to remove.”

Chewing-gum dropped on the pavement can only be cleaned up by using costly, specialist gum-removing equipment. While the average piece of gum costs about 3p to buy, the bill for cleaning every square metre of pavement is £1.50 a time.

The campaign will feature posters and promotional material to try and raise awareness of the problem and to encourage everyone to think twice before dropping chewing-gum on the floor.

Gum litter is such a widespread problem across the country that a Chewing Gum Action Group has even been formed. In 2016, 11 campaigns, similar to that launched by Mansfield council, were run and resulted in an impressive reduction of dropped gum, on average, of 36 per cent in monitored areas. One town even saw a drop of 64 per cent. The action group provides stickers, banners and posters for local councils and businesses, as well as advice and support.

Fixed-penalty notices of up to £80 can be issued to anyone caught dropping gum.