Gum company to help clean streets
BRITAIN’S biggest chewing gum provider has vowed to support Swindon in its bid to rid its street of a sticky problem.
Councillor Derique Montaut met with representatives from Wrigley on Friday to discuss an action plan to clear Swindon’s pavements of chewing gum.
The global company has already supported a number of other local authorities in England bidding to tidy their streets of the litter through a series of educational programmes, which Coun Montaut said would be made available to Swindon Council.
In July, Coun Montaut ( Lab, Liden, Eldene and Park South) brought a motion before the full council to introduce a new bylaw to tackle rubbish created from people not disposing of their gum correctly.
He asked for more severe penalties to be brought in to act as a deterrent. The proposals could see the litterers fined up to £2,500.
Wrigley, which produces some of Britain’s most popular gums including Extra and Airwaves, is a member of Chewing Gum Action Group. This organisation joins charities, companies and local governments to work together to get offenders to change their behaviour.
The firm told Coun Montaut money from its 2014 budget could be made available to support Swindon’s mission to clear up the mess.
“It is going to be a slow programme,” said Coun Montaut. “We have to change the attitude and culture around the disposal of chewing gum.”
He said an educational play could make its way around schools to teach students about the importance of not littering.
“It was good of Wrigley’s to take the time out and come and speak with me,” said Coun Montaut.
“It was a constructive meeting. Wrigley in the UK holds 95 per cent of the chewing gum market. I have said to them they must hold some responsibility for the disposal of it.”
A spokesman for Wrigley said: “It has been a useful exchange of views.”
The council’s director of law and democratic services will report back to the council on September 26 whether a ban on spitting and the disposal of chewing gum on the ground in the town centre and public places is possible.
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