Gum Litter Taskforce Roadshow takes to streets of Letterkenny

The Gum Litter Taskforce Roadshow took to the streets of Letterkenny recently as part of its summer roadshow campaign to promote responsible disposal of gum litter.

This follows the national launch of the Gum Litter Taskforce Roadshow which took place on June 20, which will see the Roadshow travel to locations across all four provinces over the course of the summer months.

To date the campaign has engaged with over 30 local authorities across the country to promote community-led action on gum litter by hosting awareness initiatives and localised launch events and providing engagement and educational materials.


Ireland has achieved a 70% reduction in chewing gum litter since 2007, according to the Gum Litter Taskforce (GLT), the National Awareness Campaign to make gum litter an issue of the past.

The study from GLT, also shows that gum litter now accounts for only 8% of all litter compared with 2007, when the campaign was launched.

This research was published to mark the renewal of the campaign by the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications, Food Drink Ireland, and the chewing gum industry.

The GLT National Awareness Campaign has ambitions to further build on the remarkable success and reach of the programme to date.

The renewed campaign, which is funded by Mars Wrigley, will run for a fifth cycle until 2025 on the back of a remarkable 70% reduction in gum litter since the initiative first began in 2007.

The Gum Litter Taskforce has led to a phenomenal shift in people’s attitude to litter with chewing gum dropping to a record low as a result of the awareness campaign.

It has also increased knowledge of the fine associated with gum litter, with 81% of those surveyed after the campaign now aware of the €150 fine.


However, just over one in four (27%) claim never to have dropped gum, highlighting the continued importance of this awareness and behavioural change campaign, particularly for future generations.

Following the conclusion of the roadshow, the Gum Litter Taskforce’s Bin It! education programme will kick off in September.

The ‘Bin It!’ school roadshow encourages students to responsibly dispose of litter, and particularly gum litter, through actor-led workshops.

The latest cycle of the campaign will see the programme shift its focus from secondary school students to students in fifth and sixth class, and a return to in-person workshops, with the programme set to deliver 60 performances a year to primary and secondary schools nationwide, with the ambition to visit 180 schools by 2025.

This is in addition to useful lesson plan material that has been made available to almost 730 schools across Ireland.

Speaking ahead of the campaign, Minister Ossian Smyth, said the success of the Gum Litter Taskforce demonstrates the forward-thinking, joined up approach of industry, local communities and local government that is necessary to further drive the objective of changing the public’s gum disposal behaviour.

“I look forward to working with all stakeholders to achieve further positive changes in litter reduction in our cities, towns and villages,” he said.

Gum Litter Taskforce Project Manager, Avril Donlon of Food Drink Ireland, also said she is delighted to continue the great work of the Gum Litter Taskforce alongside the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications.

“Through continuing to engage with people and educate them on the harms of gum litter, we can work to make gum litter on the streets of Ireland a problem of the past.

“The focus for the next three-year cycle of the Gum Litter Taskforce campaign is to increase its reach among target audiences and influence future generations through proven successful education campaigns in schools and digital activations,” she said.

Corporate Affairs Manager at Mars and Mars Wrigley Ireland, Nicola Forde, also welcomed the announcement saying the success of the campaign to date is a testament to what can be achieved when Government, local communities and industry work together.

“I’m very excited that the GLT will continue its great work for another cycle.

“I’m particularly pleased to see the ‘Bin It’ campaign will reach a higher number of schools than ever this cycle, allowing us to engage with more students across the country.

“Educational engagement and encouraging positive behaviours from a young age will have long-term positive effects on Ireland’s attitudes towards litter.

“It’s also great to see continued engagement from local authorities throughout each cycle of the campaign, as it demonstrates the tangible results they’re seeing in the reduction of gum litter in their communities,” she said.

The National Gum Litter Awareness Campaign campaign, which launched on June 20 will see representatives from the Gum Litter Taskforce working with local authorities and communities to carry out education and awareness initiatives that demonstrate the proper means of gum disposal and raise awareness of the environmental and fiscal impacts of improper disposal.

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