A New Gum Litter Campaign Toolkit - Free to LAs

Mars Wrigley has worked with not-for-profit social enterprise Behaviour Change to launch a new Gum Litter Campaign Toolkit. Here they describe how it can be used to combat littering.

Cleaner streets make for happier and healthier communities. However whilst most chewers do the right thing and dispose of their gum responsibly, there’s still work to do if we are to make littering a thing of the past. 

That’s why we have launched the Gum Litter Campaign Toolkit, a resource that provides a range of targeted, effective campaigns to tackle gum littering. It is available free of charge to Local Authorities, waste management companies and other landowners who are grappling with the problem.

The Gum Litter Toolkit has been over 3 years in the making, with extensive ethnographic research commissioned at its inception to really get under the skin of gum littering behaviour.

Most chewers say they always bin their gum, and even those who do litter don’t do it all the time. Our research found that likelihood to drop gum varies considerably and it is determined much more by the environment and situation that people find themselves in, rather than by the individual themselves. Particular hotspot locations include shopping streets, food and drink outlets and public transport hubs, where people often find themselves suddenly wanting to get rid of their chewing gum.

This research led to the creation of 9 campaigns. They are all guided by the same underlying principle that the bin is the only place for used gum, however they each have a different look and feel and are targeted specifically to the littering hotspots we identified.

We have tested all of the campaigns in local pilots, working with partners to trial the materials and measure their effectiveness.

Bespoke evaluation methods provided us with unprecedented levels of robustness and each campaign has been proven to reduce gum littering by at least 33% (and in some cases up to 64%), all whilst being easy to execute and highly scalable. This effect is sustained over the long term – a single campaign can be retained for up to a year before losing impact.

In addition, our tests showed that the campaigns can be more than twice as effective as cleaning only. Given the considerable expense of cleaning littered gum this has important implications, from cost savings by less frequent rental of specialist equipment, to being able to cover wider areas with greater gaps between cleaning, all whilst achieving better results.

Tailored approach

From bins to bus shelters, shopping streets to cut throughs, there will be a campaign tailored to each littering situation you might be dealing with. Both printed materials and design files can be ordered from the toolkit website, with English and Welsh/English bilingual options available.

Visit www.tacklegumlittering.co.uk to browse the campaigns and order your materials free of charge today. We are also exhibiting at LARAC Conference so drop by if you have any questions!