Gum Litter Awareness 2018

Mayor of Fingal Cllr. Anthony Lavin launches 2018 gum litter campaign


Launch is on foot of a newly signed three year negotiated agreement between government and industry

Mayor, CE & Litter Warden

(05.07.18) The Mayor of Fingal Cllr. Anthony Lavin officially launched the Gum Litter Taskforce’s gum litter education campaign in the Pavilion Shopping Centre, Swords. The Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, Paul Reid, and Tony Egan, Ger Byrne and Derek McKittrick of the Council’s Environment Division were also in attendance.

The Gum Litter Taskforce has been successful to date in changing the public’s behaviour by encouraging correct gum disposal through a targeted education awareness campaign and demonstrates the power of government and industry alliance in driving positive change. The latest report of the National Litter Monitoring Pollution System has shown that the percentage of chewing gum as a proportion of litter dropped to 8% in 2017 from 15% in 2016[1].

Last year’s campaign maintained an all-time high of 93% of people stating that they regard chewing gum as litter, pointing to the attitudinal impact which the campaign has affected since it first began.

Research commissioned by the Gum Litter Taskforce (GLT) and conducted by Kantar Millward Brown during the 2017 campaign has demonstrated the campaign’s positive effect on people’s behaviour towards gum disposal. The latest results show 86% of people saying they dispose of their gum correctly, compared with just 54% in 2006 when the campaign began.

Speaking at the launch, the Mayor of Fingal Cllr. Anthony Lavin said: “The Gum Litter Taskforce is a fantastic initiative for communities to get involved in. Each year, we see communities coming together with the common aim of reducing the level of littered gum within their respective localities. The campaign has achieved positive results to date in this regard, and I hope this year’s campaign will continue to further build on those results”.

Each local authority launched their own campaigns during 2018. The 26 participating authorities are: Dublin City Council, Limerick City Council, Cork City Council, Fingal County Council, South Dublin County Council, Galway County Council, Leitrim County Council, Donegal County Council, Roscommon County Council, Clare County Council, Westmeath County Council, Cork County Council, Kerry County Council, Laois County Council, Wexford County Council, Cavan County Council, Wicklow County Council, Tipperary County Council, Louth County Council, Longford County Council, Kildare County Council, Sligo County Council, Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council, Monaghan County Council, Galway City Council and Waterford County Council.

The GLT includes representatives of the chewing gum industry; Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment; Food Drink Ireland; local authority representatives and civic society.

The present cycle is the fourth to take place, with previous campaign cycles running between 2007-2009, 2012-2014 and 2015-2017.

The theme of the 2018 – 2020 advertising campaign is “Bin your gum when you’re done”, the campaign includes:


  • 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
  • A four-month mass media advertising campaign (TV, outdoor, print and online)
  • Autumn and which is supported by materials and tools for teachers to download and integrate into lesson plans (
  • A “Bin It!” Buddies’ campaign to teach 14-16 year olds about the issues surrounding littering to empower them to take personal responsibility for correct litter disposal by creating their own media campaigns to help change behaviour. It is also designed to reinforce what they learned when they took part in the Bin it Roadshow! and to encourage them to mentor those currently taking part in same
  • Dedicated GLT website -
  • Distribution of Point-of-Sale materials to over 1,000 retailers around the country
  • Sponsorship of three awards in the Tidy Towns competition
  • Standalone experiential events such as the “Living Room” and Out of Home activations around the country with the aim of these events being to further challenge incorrect disposal behaviour and raise awareness of the impact of littered gum.