Stamping out gum on streets of Portree

An anti-gum litter campaign was launched by Highland Council last week, encouraging people to “bin it your way” – or face a fine of up to £80.

The council is one of 16 across the UK to sign up to the campaign, now in its eighth year, which is being led by the Chewing Gum Action Group — an organisation chaired by Defra and funded by the chewing gum industry, to tackle gum litter.

Last year’s campaign showed an average fall in gum litter levels of over 50 per cent in participating areas, while there was a 93 per cent drop in one area.

The new advertising campaign features professionally-choreographed and highly-innovative dance moves to encourage people to dispose of gum in a fun and engaging way. The brightly-coloured adverts will appear in a range of locations across the region and  the Waste Awareness Team will also be out and about in town centres to publicise the issue and hand out chewing gum wraps to users.

Councillor Graham Phillips, chairman of Highland Council’s transport, environment and community services committee, said: “Chewing gum litter is a real nuisance that is costly and difficult to remove. We want the residents in the Highlands to be proud of where they live which is why we have partnered with the Chewing Gum Action Group to raise awareness and proactively tackle this problem. I really hope
gum chewers think before they dispose of their gum and understand that they can play a part in making the Highlands a clean and inviting place to live.”

Pictured spreading the anti-gum litter message in Portree recently are high school pupils John MacPherson, Sean Grieve, Erin Shinnie and Rebekkah MacLeod, along with West Highland College students Helen MacLeod, Caleigh Laydon and Kayrn MacRae. They were joined by councillors Ian Renwick, Hamish Fraser,  John Gordon and  Anne MacDonald, the waste operations manager for Skye and Lochalsh.