The Chewing Gum Taskforce
Established in 2021, a new partnership has been set up to remove gum litter from high streets.
The Chewing Gum Task Force brings together some of the country’s major chewing gum producers, including Mars Wrigley, Perfetti Van Melle and some producers of nicotine replacement therapy gum. Under the scheme, administered by independent environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, the firms will invest up to £10m over five years to help reduce chewing gum pollution.
The investment is used to achieve two objectives: cleaning up historic gum litter staining and using behavioural interventions to encourage people to bin their gum. The scheme means chewing gum producers are not only helping to clean up towns and cities but crucially taking action to prevent people littering in the first place.
How the task force works
The investment will be used to fund grants for councils for street cleansing, which may include funding internal cleansing teams, outsourcing to contractors or investing in specialist equipment. A bespoke prevention package of targeted behaviour change signage and advice will be provided to councils for free alongside the grant. The grant application process and evaluation will be managed by SOENECS, with representatives from the four nations determining which councils will get awards. The prevention package will be managed by Behaviour Change, who will also work with four selected councils to evaluate change in littering behaviour over the long term.
This toolkit of behaviour change interventions
Chewing gum manufacturer Mars Wrigley has invested in campaigns and partnerships addressing litter across the UK for many years. Most recently, through a 5-year innovation programme and collaboration with Behaviour Change, they worked with local partners to test a range of ways to encourage responsible behaviour, which resulted in this set of proven interventions to reduce gum littering. These interventions are now being deployed by the Chewing Gum Taskforce to encourage responsible disposal of gum.