Cork County Council is reminding people to "bin your gum when you're done" with the launch of a campaign to combat gum litter.
The Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Mary Linehan Foley officially launched the Gum Litter Taskforce's education campaign, with the help of students from Bunscoil Mhuire, in Youghal earlier this week.
The theme of the 2018 - 2021 advertising campaign is ‘Bin your gum when you’re done’.
“Covid-19 has brought more people outdoors to socialise and enjoy the beauty of their local area.
“People of all generations are more aware than ever of the importance of looking after the natural environment and “binning their gum when they’re done,” Mayor Linehan Foley said.
The Gum Litter Taskforce (GLT) is a national initiative to raise awareness and reduce gum litter in a sustainable way.
Supported by the chewing gum industry, the GLT has over the past 14 years made real and significant improvements in terms of gum litter awareness and disposal behaviours.
The 2019 campaign maintained an all-time high with 93% of people stating they regard chewing gum as litter, up from 74% when the campaign first began in 2007.
“Gum litter can be a big problem in places.
“We take part in Green Schools, so encouraging our students to be responsible with their waste is a given within the school,” Deputy Principal of Bunscoil Mhuire, Marian Leamy said.
This year’s campaign aims to build on the positive momentum and is making a strong return for 2021 after being postponed last year due to Covid-19.
Research commissioned by the Gum Litter Taskforce and conducted by Kantar Millward Brown during 2019 highlighted the campaign’s continued positive effect on people’s behaviour towards gum disposal.
In 2019, 88% of people said they always dispose of their gum correctly, up from 54% when the campaign first began. This behavioural shift is also evidenced with the proportion of gum, as a percentage of litter, decreasing by 64% over the life of the campaign.
Paul Kelly, Chairman of the GLT said it is encouraging to see the public’s behaviour towards gum litter.
“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 the Bin It! school education programme, can only be successful through continued support from our schools and local communities.”