The Gum Litter Taskforce (GLT) is part of a joint initiative that aims to achieve a long-term sustainable solution to the irresponsible disposal of chewing gum litter.

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Minister Announces Renewed GLT Agreement

April 02, 2018     Press

The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Mr. Denis Naughten, T.D., and Food Drink Ireland (FDI) have today (April 2nd, 2018) announced the renewal of the negotiated agreement between the Department and the Chewing Gum Industry for a further three-year period (2018 - 2020).  The initiative aims to build on the success of public awareness campaigns and education programmes to date, and introduce new elements to help raise awareness of the impact of gum litter and encourage proper gum disposal. The agreement represents a €10.2 million commitment by industry over a three-year period and includes new agreed mechanisms to further enhance and reinvigorate the campaign. 

Welcoming the renewal of the agreement, Minister Naughten said:

“The agreement to renew this initiative for the three-year period to 2020 represents a genuine commitment by industry to finding a solution to improper gum disposal.  Monitoring results since 2008 have demonstrated an improvement in gum litter levels over the course of each Gum Litter Taskforce campaign, with a consistent reduction in gum litter as a proportion of total litter from 30.8% in 2008, falling annually to a low of 11.2% in 2015, as measured by the National Litter Pollution Monitoring System Report.  This demonstrates that the campaign has had a positive impact and I am confident that this new agreement will see further reductions in gum litter levels.”

The renewed programme will continue to focus on achieving a lasting change in gum disposal behaviour, by encouraging people to put used gum in a bin. Several important elements will be continued, including the 'Bin It' school tour- a school educational workshop programme aimed at 14-16 year olds.  The new agreement will also include a multi-media gum disposal messaging campaign, responsible chewing gum disposal messaging on packaging and standalone experiential events.

The programme is comprehensive and highly targeted in order to address the root cause of the problem.  Acknowledging the industry's commitment to continuing to invest in tackling the issue of gum litter through research and development, the Minister said that he believes industry is genuinely committed to finding a solution to the particular problems caused by the improper disposal of chewing gum.

"This is a well thought out example of Government and industry working positively and constructively together to improve our environment to the benefit of all our citizens."

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Minister launches 2017 Gum Litter Campaign

May 12, 2017     Press

Minister Denis Naughten today officially launched the Gum Litter Taskforce’s gum litter education campaign in his native Roscommon.  

The campaign has had huge success to date in changing the public’s behaviour to gum disposal and in encouraging correct gum disposal through a targeted education awareness campaign. According to research carried out by Millward Brown on behalf of the Gum Litter Taskforce (GLT) during the 2016 campaign, the highest number of people to date (93%) agree that dropping gum is littering and almost six in seven people (84%) claiming they always dispose of their gum correctly.

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.

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