‘Make manufacturers pay for chewing gum removal on streets of Manchester’
Council bosses say food giants should shoulder chewing gum removal burden
|Chewing gum companies across the UK and further abroad should cough up cash to help keep Manchester’s streets clean, say council chiefs.Campaigners claim while the average piece of gum costs about 3p to buy, local authorities have to spend around £1.50 to clean it up. Nearly a tonne of chewing gum was removed from Manchester city centre streets last year in a £40,000 clean-up operation. The crackdown was largely funded by city centre firms and saw nearly 800,000 pieces of chewing gum removed.Food companies have been told they must shoulder the burden of removing gum on pavements – and produce environmentally-friendly alternatives.|
|Manufacturing giants such as Wrigley should make a ‘substantial contribution’ to the multi-million pound bill for cleaning up the ‘ugly mess’, says the Local Government Association.The call has been backed by businesses and council leaders in Manchester. County Bernard Priest, deputy leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Chewing gum is a prominent problem in Manchester’s streets. Unlike a lot of other litter, chewing gum cannot simply be swept away. Once it’s trodden into the pavement, it’s very expensive to clean up.
“In principle I am behind the LGA’s idea but in reality it would be very difficult to enforce. “I imagine the legal framework to get big firms to contribute to clean up costs would be fraught with difficulties. “The main message for people now is make sure you throw your gum in the bin and not on the street.”Coun Peter Box, LGA Environment spokesman, added: “The UK gum industry is a multi-million pound business and we believe in the principle of the ‘polluter’ paying. “The chewing gum giants should be making a substantial contribution to help with the sterling work that councils are doing in removing it.”
Wrigley, owned by Mars and produces Orbit and Extra Gum, say they are committed to tackling litter problems. A spokesman for Wrigley said: “Wrigley takes the issue of littered gum very seriously. We believe that the only long-term solution to this problem is persuading people to dispose of their chewing gum responsibly, as the large majority already do.
“This is why we invest in programs, such as the Chewing Gum Action Group (CGAG), which are designed to inspire the remaining minority to do the right thing and put their chewing gum in the bin.”
*Article Source – Manchester Evening News (25/11/14) Charlotte Dobson
The problem of removing chewing gum is one that many councils across the world face including those in the major cities of Australia such as Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane.
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