Shannon Tidy Towns, including Cllr Donna McGettigan; the Gum Litter Taskforce; and Clare County Council staff at the GLT roadshow in Shannon Town Park.

A “small minority” are still disposing of gum incorrectly in Co Clare but behaviours on gum disposal are moving in the right direction.

As part of its summer roadshow, the Gum Litter Taskforce (GLT) was in Co Clare over the past week. This interactive roadshow works with local authorities and communities across the country to carry out fun and engaging education and awareness initiatives that demonstrate the proper means of gum disposal.

Now in its seventeenth year, the campaign is a collaboration between Food Drink Ireland, the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications, the chewing gum industry, and local authorities.

Cathaoirleach of the Shannon Municipal District, Cllr Donna McGettigan (SF) welcomed the roadshow to Clare and Shannon Town Park. “Each year this campaign seeks to educate people on the correct disposal of gum. It raises awareness of the environmental and financial impacts of improper disposal of chewing gum and encourages us all to ‘Bin Your Gum When You’re Done’. We want to continue encouraging a positive behaviour change among the small minority who are still disposing of gum incorrectly,” she said.

Attitudes towards gum litter continue to change, as children are educated on the negative environmental and fiscal impacts of gum litter. The GLT 2023 campaign had a positive impact on both attitudes and behaviour regarding gum disposal, with a 5% increase in those reporting ‘always’ or ‘usually’ putting their chewed gum in the bin, bringing the figure to a record high of 92%.

Speaking at the roadshow Derek Clune, Chairperson of Shannon Tidy Towns, commented, “We are delighted to have the opportunity to collaborate with the Gum Litter Taskforce team and Clare County Council to help us deliver this campaign at Shannon Town Park with a common goal to fight gum litter. We are especially delighted to see that 92% of people now dispose of their gum properly”.

One in seven people continue to drop their gum on the ground, according to new findings from the Gum Litter Taskforce, the national awareness campaign which aims to make gum litter an issue of the past. This accounts for 19% of men and 9% of women, showing a higher tendency in men to not properly dispose of their gum.

Attending the roadshow Terence McDonald, Environmental Community Warden for the Shannon MD, explained, “The Gum Litter Taskforce is a fantastic initiative for communities to get involved in. Each year, we see communities coming together with the common aim of reducing the level of littered gum within their respective localities. The latest results of the National Litter Pollution Monitoring report (2022) show a continuous decline of percentage of gum as a proportion of litter at 8.6%. I am hopeful that this year’s campaign will continue to further build on those results. We look forward to continuing to work with the Gum Litter Taskforce to promote greater gum litter awareness throughout County Clare for the betterment of all our local communities”.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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