England & Wales

Chewing gum and dog muck

To confound any impression that think-tanks are all ivory towers, I thought I would update on how people dropping chewing gum are coming to a sticky end in some areas.   Fifteen councils taking part in the 2008 Chewing Gum Action Group campaign have successfully reduced chewing gum litter by 43 per cent, according to new figures.    The councils taking part in the campaign received help from the DEFRA backed scheme such as paid advertising, with a campaign called ‘Sin Bin’ to expose how anti-social it is to drop chewing gum.     

The individual results were:   Blackpool Council 54%;  Cambridge City Council 17%; Croydon Town Centre Business Improvement District 34%; Doncaster MBC 47%; Middlesbrough Council 47%; Mole Valley District Council 36%; Nottingham City Council 50%; Borough of Poole Council 20%; Rushmoor Borough Council 62%; Test Valley Borough Council 62; Wigan MBC 39%; Wolverhampton City Council 38%; Worcester City Council 51%.

Chewing gum littering doesn’t really make me hot under the collar, although I can see why it’s a problem.    But don’t get me started on dog fouling .   A friend of mine told me he has started taking direct action by sticking notes on to the end of kebab skewers to sign post the latest dog mess and shame the owners.  He has had some success.    The welcome news from DEFRA is that there was a fall in dog fouling of 1% in 2008 compared to the year before.    There was also a  fall of 1% in the previous year.  So at this rate dog fouling will be eradicated sometime around the turn of the next century.