Environment Awareness & Education

An Cathaoirleach Launches 2021 National Gum Litter Taskforce Campaign

General News
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An Cathaoirleach, Councillor Una Power, celebrates the launch of the National Gum Litter Taskforce Campaign in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council with St Brigid’s National School Stillorgan.

The Gum Litter Taskforce (GLT) is an environmental initiative that was set up to develop and implement an awareness campaign to reduce gum litter. Supported and funded by the chewing gum industry, the GLT initiative has made very real and significant improvements in relation to gum litter awareness and disposal behaviour over the last 14 years since its inception in 2007. The campaign is looking to build on the positive momentum of previous years’ campaigns and is making a strong return for 2021. Research commissioned by the Gum Litter Taskforce and conducted by Kantar Millward Brown during the 2019 campaign highlighted the campaign’s continued positive effect on people’s behaviour towards gum disposal. In 2019, the results showed that 88% of people said that they always dispose of their gum correctly, which was up from 54% when the campaign first began. This shift in public behaviour has been evident throughout the 13 years that the campaign has been running, as the proportion of gum as a percentage of litter has decreased by 64%.

Speaking at the launch of the 2021 campaign, An Cathaoirleach, Una Power said:

I am delighted to launch the 2021 Gum Litter Taskforce Campaign in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown. The campaign compliments the Council’s 2021 anti-litter environmental awareness programmes that include the annual Tidy Districts community programme, an anti-litter competition for primary schools, Picker Pals programme, educational workshops, Green-Schools and the Recycled Christmas Decoration initiative. These environmental initiatives empower local authorities, communities, and schools to work together to achieve meaningful change in our environment to the benefit of current and future generations.

St Brigid’s National School Stillorgan actively promote positive environmental action and are delighted to launch the Gum Litter Taskforce campaign. In this academic year, St Brigid’s Green-Schools Committee focused on waste prevention. Through hard work and dedication they reduced the volume of waste in the school’s residual (black) bin by 50%. Amanda McHugh, Green-School Coordinator and Deputy Principal, said:

We are delighted to be involved in the launch of the Gum Litter Taskforce Campaign. The Green Schools Committee have put in an amazing amount of effort and dedication to reducing litter & waste, and raising awareness throughout the school and community. Our Green Code, a clean school is green school, is a great moto that we can all follow in highlighting litter awareness.

St Brigid’s focus on reducing lunchbox waste, elimination of litter blackspot on school grounds, litter picking in the community, and positive environmental events throughout the school year, is a leading example of how we can all raise awareness and protect our environment in a fun, vibrant, and inclusive way.

Members of the GLT include representatives of the chewing gum industry, Department of Climate Action, Communications and Environment, Food and Drink Industry Ireland and local authority representatives. The present cycle of the GLT campaign is the fourth to take place, with previous campaign cycles running between 2007-2009, 2012-2014 and 2015-2017. The 2018 – 2020 has been rolled over to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions.



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