Government enlist chewing gum manufacturers to spearhead new cleaning scheme in Birmingham

The scourge of clean streets across the world - chewing gum - could disappear with the help of manufacturers like Wrigley.

A blight on our streets - chewing gum
A blight on our streets - chewing gum

A new pilot scheme is being tested in Birmingham and if successful could be rolled out across the Black Country.

The Government, Keep Britain Tidy, Mars Wrigley and Perfetti Van Melle have teamed up to ensure the hard to shift spat out gum on pavements and benches is a thing of the past. Currently 87 per cent of the UK's streets have traces of chewing gum.

the target of brand new pilot scheme in Birmingham which if successful could be rolled out to the Black Country.

The Chewing Gum Task Force will have up to £70,000 to make a difference in Birmingham. The gum manufacturers have invested £10 million over five years to stave off calls for a total ban.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said: "Littering blights our towns and costs taxpayers money. Working with responsible gum manufacturers, we are now giving councils extra help to clean up our cities and towns.

"This means we can double down on regenerating our high streets, boosting local economies and levelling up communities across the country."

The money will be spent on cleaning equipment and warning signs and is part of an overarching policy to improve the UK's high streets.

Allison Ogden-Newton OBE, Chief Executive of Keep Britain Tidy, said: "This is an exciting new opportunity for councils to tackle the ongoing problem of gum pollution.

"The grants will allow councils to clean up historic gum litter staining in our towns and cities, as well as taking action to prevent people littering in the first place.”

Ana Baptista, Corporate Affairs Director, Mars Wrigley UK, said: "Mars Wrigley has invested in campaigns to tackle litter across the UK for many years. Through our partnership with Behaviour Change we have developed interventions proven to reduce gum littering which have already been used by over 100 Councils."

Mars Wrigley's scientists have been working for decades to create a none-sticking chewing gum which they have yet to succeed but current gum is easier to wipe away than older products.

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