26 August 2005

A sticky problem!

What cost justs 35p but costs our local councils hundreds of millions of pounds each year?

A bit of change of direction for me here. I do like to wax lyrical about the big issues, with my (probably too neat) solutions. But this is a problem closer to home, usually the bottom of our shoes closer to home,in fact!

Yes, you guessed it, its that sticky stuff that lasts 100 of years in the environment and is almost impossible to get off the pavement.

Shouldn't the companies that happily make many millions in profits creating this non-bio degradable stuff have a bigger incentive to make it bio-degradable, like having to contribute something towards the massive cost of cleaning it up.

I know ultimately it is the irresponsibility of people who drop chewing gum on our streets that should pay for this clean-up, but at the moment it is the coucil tax payer that is picking up the complete cost. I'm all in favour of enforcing spot fines on those who drop litter, but there is always going to be people who get away with it, and at least the cost of the clean-up should be concentrated on the people who chew gum rather than everyone. Like I say if companies like Wrigleys have to pick up some of the cost of the clean-up, maybe they would have an incentive to invest in developing bio-degradable gum.

There is a precedent here. If football clubs have to pick up the cost of policing games, why not put the clean-up costs on chewing gum companies? It seems sensible to me. I certainly wouldn't mind paying 45p for my gum rather than 35p if it meant no chewing gum on the streets.

Brighton & Hove Council alone has already spent over £50,000 this summer cleaning gum off the streets! We all pay for this, is this fair?


  1. £50,000? Where? Outside the council offices!? I love Brighton, but the streets are filthy. Rubbish collection is a joke (and I was there for Hanover's dirty protest last year!).

    I'm with taxing chewing gum. I, too, would be happy if it went up 10p a pack. Then, like with cigarettes and petrol, I would have the choice as to whether I wanted to pay the extra or not.

  2. Oh - and get rid of the spam!

  3. Arghh! I've been spammed!, Thats the first time that has happened. I've deleted it. I suppose I might have to put that word thing in if it continues.

    Paul, you are right the streets round here are filthy. Believe it or not, I did see them going around with these water jet things 5am on a Sunday morning a few weeks ago along Western St. It did look better for a few days but its amazing how much gum is dropped. I just can't imagine how people do it.