What’s the Real Cost of Chewing Gum?

POSTED BY Terry Carney ON February 19, 2020


Councils have reported that the removal of chewing gum is costing them more than £60 million a year. More than 95% of the UK’s main shopping pavements are now gum stained and whilst gum manufacturers have stated that they are aware of the problem nothing appears to be changing.

Unsightly and Unacceptable

64% of the UK’s roads and pavements are now marked with discarded chewing gum and there appears to be no real answer to this problem. As a provider of chewing gum removal services amongst other cleaning services we offer, we know this problem is not going away any day soon.

Councils Are Stuck

It’s a growing pressure that councils are struggling to cope with in terms of its cost on dwindling budgets for street cleaning and the public demand for this problem to be addressed. Councils have no obligation to clear the gum, it’s usually pressure from the public and high street retailers that forces the hand.

Manufactures Don’t have Control

So where do the manufactures sit in this sticky mess? Wrigley, which makes Extra, Hubba Bubba and Airwaves gum, said that it was making a “significant investment” in anti-litter campaigns. Their problem is changing the attitude of their customers and the demographic of gum chewers is not always the most conscious of the environmental impact.

*The LGA, which represents 370 councils in England and Wales, has for years urged producers to help remove what it called a “plague” on pavements. The LGA claims that gum costs 3p per piece to buy, but that it costs councils £1.50 to clean up each square metre of pavement.

It said the £60m annual bill for eliminating gum could be used to fill “more than a million potholes” instead.

Token Cleaning use a variety of brick and stone cleaning methods to effectively clean all types of surfaces without causing damage and always carry out a site survey prior to commencement of work to find the most suitable method. To find out more click here.

*Full article by BBC News April 2017 

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