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Chewing Gum: Waste Disposal

Volume 457: debated on Thursday 8 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what efforts are being made to encourage local authorities to take action against chewing gum litter. (125905)

Last week, the DEFRA-funded chewing gum Action group invited local authorities to apply for paid for advertising funds to tackle this issue. This follows the 2006 campaigns which saw reductions in gum litter of up to 72 per cent.

Guidance on how to run a local campaign on this issue was issued to interested local authorities in January 2006. This included elements on:

(i) enforcement

(ii) partnership working with businesses and schools

(iii) working with local media; and

(iv) monitoring gum deposition.

The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act provided local authorities with greater enforcement powers to tackle this issue. Fixed penalty notices of up to £80 can be issued for dropping litter, as an alternative to prosecution. Statutory guidance on these powers was issued to all local authorities in April 2006, and further guidance on fixed penalty notices and enforcement will be distributed soon.