Launch of Gum Litter Task Force Campaign - Leitrim 2018

Press Release - Monday 2nd July 2018

Cathaoirleach of Leitrim County Council, Cllr. Sean McGowan launches 2018 gum litter campaign

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


Cathaoirleach of Leitrim County Council, Cllr. Sean McGowan officially launched the Gum Litter Taskforce’s gum litter education campaign in Carrick on Shannon, Co. Leitrim.

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, Cathaoirleach of Leitrim County Council, Cllr. Sean McGowan 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”.

Paul Kelly, Chairman of the GLT added: “Each year, the GLT campaign endeavours to educate people on the proper manner in which to dispose of their used gum. Beginning in 2007, the campaign has seen sustained and marked progress in changing people’s attitudes to littered gum which has in turn positively impacted upon behavioural patterns when it comes to gum disposal. As ever, we are committed to continuing efforts to eradicate gum from our streets entirely. Today’s national launch marks an important part of a wider nationwide campaign which also includes a national advertising campaign and a school’s education programme, Bin It!”.

Katherine Hogan, Corporate Affairs Director, Mars Ireland said: “Mars Ireland and Wrigley are delighted once more to be part of such a successful campaign. Although the GLT is funded by industry, it could not have achieved the level of success to date without the active and enthusiastic participation of local authorities up and down the country to whom we are very grateful. This year’s campaign contains a number of new platforms and means through which we will be able to extend our awareness raising and educational outreach amongst the public and we are excited to see how this will play out. We look forward to playing our part in tackling the issue of littered gum and working alongside local communities in achieving this goal”.

The 2018 campaign is the first in a three-year cycle which commenced on foot of a negotiated agreement between the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment and Food Drink Ireland (FDI) representing the gum industry.


Sean McGowan - Launch 02.07.2018


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 four-month mass media advertising campaign (TV, outdoor, print and online)

·         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 (

·         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 TidyTowns 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.

bin it


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