New free toolkit could reduce gum littering rates by up to 64%

Campaign materials for councils and property owners developed by Mars Wrigley and Behaviour Change have been shown to drive a significant and sustained reduction in gum littering.  

A free toolkit of materials for local authorities and property owners could reduce gum littering by up to 64%.

The toolkit, developed by Mars Wrigley in partnership with social enterprise Behaviour Change, includes a range of free and unbranded materials designed to tackle gum litter in the UK.

The campaign materials have been trialled in a variety of public spaces including shopping centres, railway stations and even electronic bus stop indicators, after research showed that these locations see the highest incidence of gum littering.

The campaigns are designed to be “simple and scalable”, it says, and have been shown to reduce gum littering by up to 64% over a sustained period of several months. The campaigns interrupt people at the moment where they might need to dispose of their gum, and encourage them to use the bin instead.

Being able to access free materials proven to help us save money and keep our local environment clean is a win-win for council and community

The materials have now been packaged up into a free and easy-to-use digital toolkit to show local authorities and property owners how to effectively tackle littered gum in their area.

Local authorities and property owners are now able to order full sets of campaign materials completely free of charge through the website.

They can choose from nine different designs, access new insight into littering behaviour and get advice on measuring the effectiveness of their installations.

Islington Council has become the first London Borough to implement the free campaign following its involvement in the successful pilot scheme in 2017.

During the pilot the council focused their campaigns around transport hubs including Farringdon Station and a high-street bus stop, reducing gum-littering by 48%.

A spokesperson for Mars Wrigley said: “We strongly believe that changing individual littering behaviour is the only long-term sustainable solution to keeping our streets clean, which is why we are very proud to be launching this pioneering toolkit in partnership with Behaviour Change.”

Chris Demetriou, Operations Manager from Islington Council said: “It has been great to be part of the original pilot for this toolkit. We were really surprised and happy to see the scale and effectiveness of the impact. For example, our campaign pointing out bins around a bus stop on Islington High Street led to a 48% reduction in gum littering.

“We are now looking forward to installing our next campaign, maintaining a focus around transport hubs. Being able to access free materials proven to help us save money and keep our local environment clean is a win-win for council and community.”

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