The Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley officially launched the Gum Litter Taskforce’s education campaign, with the help of students from Bunscoil Mhuire, in Youghal earlier this week.
Speaking of the campaign, Mayor Linehan Foley said;
Covid-19 has brought more people outdoors to socialise and enjoy the beauty of their local area. People of all generations are more aware than ever of the importance of looking after the natural environment and “binning their gum when they’re done”. I’m confident the people of Cork will do their county and local community proud by getting behind this Gum Litter Taskforce campaign.
The Gum Litter Taskforce (GLT) is a national initiative to raise awareness and reduce gum litter in a sustainable way. Supported by the chewing gum industry, the GLT has over the past 14 years made real and significant improvements in terms of gum litter awareness and disposal behaviours. The 2019 campaign maintained an all-time high with 93% of people stating they regard chewing gum as litter, up from 74% when the campaign first began in 2007.
Deputy Principal of Bunscoil Mhuire, Marian Leamy commented;
Gum litter can be a big problem in places. We take part in Green Schools, so encouraging our students to be responsible with their waste is a given within the school. Going forward we will make a more conscious effort to highlight to students that gum must also be put in a bin and that they should help to spread that message.
This year’s campaign aims to build on the positive momentum and is making a strong return for 2021 after being postponed last year due to Covid-19. Research commissioned by the Gum Litter Taskforce and conducted by Kantar Millward Brown during 2019 highlighted the campaign’s continued positive effect on people’s behaviour towards gum disposal. In 2019, 88% of people said they always dispose of their gum correctly, up from 54% when the campaign first began. This behavioural shift is also evidenced with the proportion of gum, as a percentage of litter, decreasing by 64% over the life of the campaign.
Paul Kelly, Chairman of the GLT added;
It is great to see the GLT campaign return and continue its success in changing the public’s behaviour towards gum litter. Since 2007, we have seen a significant decline in the amount of gum litter present throughout the streets, villages and towns of Ireland. Alongside the Green Schools, Tidy Towns and Neat Streets programmes, this campaign aims to play a significant role in the overall reduction of litter and contribute to the betterment of the environment. The relaunch of the GLT campaign in its revised format this year, along with our advertising campaign and the Bin It! school education programme, can only be successful through continued support from our schools and local communities.
Nicola Forde, Corporate Affairs Manager, Mars Wrigley Ireland said;
Mars Wrigley are pleased to support the return of this positive and vibrant awareness campaign in 2021. It is important that we maintain momentum on our journey to achieving a cleaner, greener Ireland through initiatives like the GLT and build on the success that the campaign has achieved since it commenced in 2007.
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.
The theme of the 2018 – 2021 advertising campaign, is “Bin your gum when you’re done”, the campaign includes:
- A national online and broadcast media advertising campaign with an active social media presence across key platforms, i.e. Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook.
- A virtual national campaign launch followed by virtual local authority led launch events.
- A schools education programme aimed at first year secondary school students called “Bin It!”. This includes an actor-led workshop tour which takes place in schools each autumn and which is supported by materials and tools for teachers to download and integrate into lesson plans (http://biniteducation.com/).
- In the case that COVID restrictions are still in place come autumn, an alternative offering in the form of an adaptable teaching resource will be created for teachers to deliver to students during class time that replaces the “Bin It” roadshow.
- Dedicated GLT website – http://www.gumlittertaskforce.ie/
- Sponsorship of three awards in the TidyTowns competition and support for virtual/socially distant Tidy Towns, Green Schools, Neat Streets and National Spring Clean campaigns.
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