Councils want to make gum manufacturers help pay for the cost of cleaning gum from streets
Council chiefs want sweet manufacturers to help pay the cost of cleaning pavements blighted by the trodden-in blobs.
They claim environmental health departments have to foot cleansing bills which are fifty times the cost of a gum stick.
Pressure group Keep Britain Tidy found recently that a staggering 99 per cent of Britain’s high streets are stained.
Demands for the confectionery companies to pay their share were made by the Local Government Association.
It’s ugly, it’s unsightly and it’s unacceptable.
Judith Blake, the LGA’s environment spokeswoman, said: “Chewing gum is a plague on our pavements. It’s ugly, it’s unsightly and it’s unacceptable.
“At a time when councils face considerable ongoing funding pressures, this is a growing cost pressure they could do without.
“It is therefore reasonable to expect chew gum manufacturers to help more.
Councils face huge cost pressures and are not obliged to clean up gum
“Councils have no legal obligation to clear up the gum.
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“They do it for the benefit of their shoppers, town centre users, businesses and residents – to make the pavements more attractive and the environment better.
“Councils want to work with the industry to find solutions to this ongoing problem. The industry needs to go a lot further, faster, in tackling this issue.”
The LGA – which represents 370 councils in England and Wales – also want manufacturers to switch to easy-to-clean biodegradable gums.
South Tyneside Council spends more than £100,000 a year cleaning up gum
The say the money spent could be diverted to more beneficial projects, such as the repair of thousands of potholes.
One authority, South Tyneside Council spends £104,000 annually cleaning up gum, while Chelmsford Council, Essex, lays out £68,000.
Merton Council, south London, has circled more than 600 offending blobs in Sutton’s high street and designed a poster that can be used to wrap up discarded gum.