Gum litter

Minister launches campaign to change people’s behaviour towards gum litter

Gum litter

Picture Credit: Andrew Downes /

Minister Denis Naughten officially launched the Gum Litter Taskforce’s gum litter education campaign earlier today in Roscommon town.

The campaign has had huge success to date in changing the public’s behaviour to gum litter disposal and in encouraging correct gum disposal through a targeted education awareness campaign. According to research carried out by Millward Brown on behalf of the Gum Litter Taskforce (GLT) during the 2016 campaign, the highest number of people to date (93%) agree that dropping gum is littering and almost six in seven people (84%) claiming they always dispose of their gum correctly.

Speaking at the official launch of the 2017 campaign, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten said:

“It is always great to be involved with the Gum Litter Taskforce campaign and to launch this year’s campaign here in my local constituency is particularly significant for me. Litter is a bugbear of mine. Gum litter like all litter is something we must work together on to eradicate. This campaign aims to change attitudes and behaviour when it comes to the disposal of used gum and to date it has seen very positive results. Complacency is not an option for any of us that are determined to see our environment and our communities free from litter. I hope this year’s campaign enjoys just as much success as it did last year and it has my full support and that of the Government.”

Also commenting on the launch, the Roscommon County Council Cathaoirleach Cllr. Tony Ward said:

“This is a great initiative to bring communities together in support of this campaign both here in Roscommon and in towns across the country. The GLT campaign contributes significantly to the fight against gum litter and we’re delighted to be a part of it again this year.”

Paul Kelly, Chairman of the GLT added:

“Each year the campaign seeks to educate people on the correct disposal of gum and while we have seen very positive results to date, we want to continue encouraging a positive behaviour change amongst the small minority who are still disposing of gum incorrectly. The latest research results highlighted a significant increase in those who say they never drop gum which points towards the success of the campaign since its inception at targeting younger people who are taking the message home with them and into households across Ireland. The national launch today is just one element of this nationwide campaign which also includes a national advertising campaign and a schools education programme, Bin It!”

Industry representative Alex West; Senior Manager, Corporate Affairs – UK & Ireland for the Wrigley Company (a subsidiary of Mars Inc) said:

“The Wrigley Company is delighted to be the industry representative on the GLT and be part of such a successful campaign. The Gum Litter Taskforce is a unique industry funded initiative that runs in partnership with local and national government and civic society to tackle a common goal through awareness and education. The campaign results to date have demonstrated the success our approach has had in changing behaviour and attitudes to gum littering.”

This is the third year of the latest campaign, the result of an agreement between the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment and Food Drink Ireland (FDI) representing the gum industry, to fund a national gum litter awareness programme from 2015-2017.

The Gum Litter Taskforce (GLT) education campaign also includes outdoor poster, TV and online advertising which will run from May to August this year and an accompanying website