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LGA backs chewing gum tax

02 March 2018

The Local Government Association (LGA) has called for a chewing gum tax to help pay for street cleaning in the UK.

Councils already spend over £60m annually to scrape up chewing gum that is dropped on pavements. 

As a result a cross party motion has been tabled in Westminster to help tackle the scourge. The effort is being supported by the LGA, which also insists that the chewing gum industry should be obliged to financially contribute toward any solution.

Councillor Martin Tett, the LGA's environment spokesman, 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. Conventional chewing gum is not biodegradable and councils have to use specialist equipment to remove it, which is both time-consuming and very expensive.

"It is therefore reasonable to expect chewing gum manufacturers to help more, both by switching to biodegradable gum and by contributing to the cost of clearing it up."

Chewing gum is the second most common form of dropped litter in the UK, with cigarette butts number one.