Speaking at the official launch of the 2017 campaign, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten said: “It is always great to be involved with the Gum Litter Taskforce campaign and to launch this year’s campaign here in my local constituency is particularly significant for me. Litter is a bugbear of mine. Gum litter like all litter is something we must work together on to eradicate. This campaign aims to change attitudes and behaviour when it comes to the disposal of used gum and to date it has seen very positive results. Complacency is not an option for any of us that are determined to see our environment and our communities free from litter. I hope this year’s campaign enjoys just as much success as it did last year and it has my full support and that of the Government."
Also commenting on the launch, the Cathaoirleach Cllr. Tony Ward said: “This is a great initiative to bring communities together in support of this campaign both here in Roscommon and in towns across the country. The GLT campaign contributes significantly to the fight against gum litter and we’re delighted to be a part of it again this year.”
Paul Kelly, Chairman of the GLT added: “Each year the campaign seeks to educate people on the correct disposal of gum and while we have seen very positive results to date, we want to continue encouraging a positive behaviour change amongst the small minority who are still disposing of gum incorrectly. The latest research results highlighted a significant increase in those who say they never drop gum which points towards the success of the campaign since its inception at targeting younger people who are taking the message home with them and into households across Ireland. The national launch today is just one element of this nationwide campaign which also includes a national advertising campaign and a schools education programme, Bin It!”
Industry representative Alex West; Senior Manager, Corporate Affairs – UK & Ireland for the Wrigley Company (a subsidiary of Mars Inc) said: “The Wrigley Company is delighted to be the industry representative on the GLT and be part of such a successful campaign. The Gum Litter Taskforce is a unique industry funded initiative that runs in partnership with local and national government and civic society to tackle a common goal through awareness and education. The campaign results to date have demonstrated the success our approach has had in changing behaviour and attitudes to gum littering.”
This is the third year of the latest campaign, the result of an agreement between the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment and Food Drink Ireland (FDI) representing the gum industry, to fund a national gum litter awareness programme from 2015-2017.
Each of the local authorities will launch their own campaigns in the coming weeks. The 27 participating authorities are: Clare County Council, Longford County Council, Cavan County Council, Cork County Council, Cork City Council, Donegal County Council, Dublin City Council, Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council, Fingal County Council, Galway City Council, Galway County Council, Kerry County Council, Kildare County Council, Kilkenny County Council, Laois County Council, Leitrim County Council, Louth County Council, Limerick City and County Council, Monaghan County Council, Roscommon County Council, Sligo County Council, Sough Dublin County Council, Tipperary County Council, Waterford County Council, Westmeath County Council, Wexford County Council and Wicklow County Council.