Campaign sees drop in gum litter on Carmarthenshire streets
THERE has been a 59 per cent reduction in chewing gum litter on the streets of Carmarthenshire.
Carmarthenshire County Council was the only Welsh authority chosen to take part in the Chewing Gum Action Group (CGAG) campaign.
Supported by Tidy Towns, the aim was to encourage people to put their chewing gum in the bin and make them aware that if they didn’t they could get fined £75.
Held during August and September, it was launched by Assembly Minister for the Environment, Sustainability and Housing Jane Davidson.
It took place at the Apollo cinema in St Catherine’s Walk where the council’s cinema advert on litter was screened and then there were lots of activities in Guildhall Square. It included singing and dancing from the Gregory Brothers, who had written a song especially for the campaign, along with Eco Eli, the council’s eco-friendly elephant. The Scarlets’ Ken Owens was there to sign autographs, there was face painting and other fun and games, and pupils from Amman Valley Comprehensive School were giving out free gum-wraps.
Ten chewing gum ‘hotspots’ in Carmarthen, Llanelli and Ammanford town centres were identified and monitored during, before and after the campaign which showed that the message stuck – with a 59 per cent reduction of gum on the streets.
Director of technical services Richard Workman said: “I am delighted with the results of the campaign which have a showed a significant reduction in chewing gum litter on the streets of Carmarthenshire.
“This means the campaign was a great success and the message got through. I just hope it continues. We don’t want to fine people; we just want people to think about the environment they live in and to consider others by putting their litter in the bin. If they don’t, however, then we have no choice but to take action against them.”
Not only is it an eyesore but chewing gum can stick to people’s clothes and shoes and it is difficult and costly to clean up – in fact it costs the council more than £30,000 a year to remove chewing gum from the streets of Llanelli, Carmarthen and Ammanford.
Executive board member for the environment Councillor Philip Hughes said: “We are well on our way to achieving a cleaner, more attractive community. We will continue to work with our partners to raise awareness of litter and its consequences to try and improve the quality of the environment in Carmarthenshire for both residents and visitors.”