UK Government announces new funding to remove chewing gum stains from high streets

chewing gum

New Government action to crack down on litter on UK high streets has been set out, with more than 40 councils across the UK awarded grants of up to £70,000 to remove chewing gum stains.

The Government says that the Chewing Gum Task Force grant scheme will help councils clean up UK towns and cities.

Exeter, Birmingham, Sunderland, Swansea, Glasgow, and Belfast are among the first winners of funding as part of the Government’s new Chewing Gum Task Force, which the Government says will help to reinvigorate the country’s towns and cities by funding efforts to clean up streets.

Littering blights our towns and costs taxpayers money.

The Government says the funding will cover grants of up £20,000 for councils including Leicester, Hull, Croydon, Southend, Lewisham and Colchester to purchase cleaning equipment as well as receiving signage to warn people not to litter gum. There will also be £70,000 for several council partnerships – including Bury and Bolton, Camden and Brent, and Nottingham and Derby.

Established by Defra and run by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, the Task Force aims to clean gum off pavements and put in measures to stop it from being dropped in the first place.

Government estimates suggest the annual clean-up cost of chewing gum for councils in the UK is around £7 million and according to Keep Britain Tidy, around 87% of England’s streets are stained with gum.

The Government says the funding is the first tranche of a package worth up to £10 million from major gum manufacturers including Mars Wrigley and Perfetti Van Melle to tackle chewing gum stains and the investment will be spread over five years.

We can double down on regenerating our high streets.

The Government says the Chewing Gum Task Force forms part of the Prime Minister’s High Street Strategy to support the evolution and regeneration of high streets across the country, as well as wider government action to tackle litter and protect the environment.

This scheme is launching alongside plans to launch a deposit return scheme for drinks containers, extended producer responsibility for packaging, and consistent recycling collections.

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.”

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