Reply To: 500 tons of chewing gum

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Frank Taylor

So I think we can agree that chewing gum mess destroys the visual qualities of stone flags on footpaths and bridges. It can also damage clothes and shoes.

On the plus side:
It has dental health benefits when sugarfree.
It generates revenue for the chewing gum companies and retailers.
Some people enjoy chewing it.

We disagree about how to remedy.

Possibilities are :
1. small tax: to raise revenue for cleaning
2. large tax: to dicourage purchase, esp. by kids
3. national change of attitude to litter: people stop being filthy
4. invention of biodegradable chewing gum: means gum would disappear over time
5. absolute ban except for nicorette (as introduced in Singapore): means you have to smuggle it in to the country
6. Spend loads of cash on top quality gum cleaning machines and hire people to use them all over the country
7. ?? Any more suggestions ??

Incidentally, O’Connell Street and Henry Street’s new flags are nowhere near as damaged by gum as I would have expected by this stage. Is DCC removing the gum every week or something?

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