Lewisham residents risk a £75 fine for littering the streets with used chewing gum, the council has warned.
A national campaign initiated by Lewisham Council in collaboration with the Chewing Gum Action Group, an initiative set up to help local authorities tackle gum litter, will run throughout March in an attempt to warn people about the risks of littering the streets and the negative outcomes.
If the £75 fine remains unpaid, a court can impose a fine of up to £2,500.
According to Keep Britain Tidy, dropped chewing gum costs authorities around £12,000 pounds a year to clean, and over 3.5 billion pieces of gum are disposed of ‘irresponsibly’ every year.
Lewisham is one of the 15 local authorities in the UK to have pledged support for the campaign to help make the country’s streets free of littered gum.
In a 2010 survey by Local Environment Quality, gum stains were found to account for over 25% of all stains found on Lewisham streets, with a 16 to 34 age range for people most likely to drop gum.
The campaign, supported by partners such as Lewisham College, Goldsmiths College and Millwall Football Club PLC, will include the distribution of free gum ‘wrap–it’ pouches, banners and gum boards, where people can stick their used gums.