Roche decides against chewing gum levy
Wednesday, 25th January, 2006
Minister for the Environment Dick Roche has decided against a levy on chewing gum in favour of a deal with manufacturers, including Wrigleys, to contribute to a public awareness campaign, and to fund research.
The Minister announced details of the public awareness campaign today which he hopes will encourage people to end the practice of dropping chewing gum on the streets.
A pilot programme will include advertising and education campaigns in towns, extra bins and research into combating the problem of gum stuck to pavements.
Mr Roche decided against a levy despite a 2002 report which called for a tax on packets of chewing gum to help street cleaners meet the multi-million costs of clearing the litter up.
"If you put a 100% levy on chewing gum you might actually stop some people chewing but you wouldn't stop them spitting it out on the streets," Mr Roche said.
"What you've got to do is change attitudes in this particular area, and you've got to work with the various partners.
"It has worked elsewhere, and it has worked in areas which are very difficult.
"I've no doubt whatsoever that this is a challenge, to actually change public attitudes is the most difficult thing to do, but to change public attitude requires a different approach," he said.
Mr Roche also told RTE he had held discussions with the distributors of Dublin's free newspapers and was confident they would take responsibility for the litter problems caused by the publications.
From Ireland . com via eircom