The UK government has formed a multi-million-dollar task force to carry out a massive clean-up operation to remove chewing gum from 87 per cent of the sidewalks in England.
The task force is part of the government’s new strategy to support the evolution and regeneration of high streets across the country, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said on Monday.
Gum producers, including Mars Wrigley, GlaxoSmithKline and Perfetti Van Melle, have signed up to the scheme and will invest up to 10 million pounds ($13 million) over the next five years to significantly reduce gum litter from streets, Defra said.
Around 87 per cent of England’s streets are stained with gum, Defra said, noting that the annual clean-up cost is estimated at 7 million pounds.
The investment, starting later this year, will be used to clean up historic gum litter staining and use behavioural interventions to encourage people to bin their gum, it said.
Previous pilots have reduced gum littering by up to 64 per cent, according to Defra.