Anti gum litter campaign launched by Westmeath County Council

Cllr Frankie Keena, chairperson of the environment and water services SPC launched the council’s Gum Litter Awareness campaign at the Market Square in Mullingar recently. Junior Cert students from the Loreto College together with their teacher Grainne O’Kennedy were there to lend a helping hand giving out gum wraps and running a competition. The competition winner was Liz Tynan, Ballinea, who won a €100 Mullingar Chambers shopping voucher.

The campaign is run by the Gum Litter Taskforce (GLT ) in association with local authorities throughout Ireland. The National Gum Litter Awareness campaign aims to reduce littered gum in the most sustainable way; by changing irresponsible disposal behaviour - the root cause of the issue - by encouraging the public to dispose of their gum responsibly.

Speaking at the launch, Cllr Keena said: “The key to tackling the gum litter and all forms of litter is education. This approach to education builds awareness and influences behaviour in order to deal with the problem at source and stop people from disposing of gum irresponsibly. The campaign has delivered very impressive results in the past in terms of reductions in gum litter levels and I hope to see similar success in our town/county/city this year.”

The theme of the 2012 campaign is “Bin it your way” and it features a series of professionally choreographed and highly innovative dance moves which communicate the responsible disposal of litter in an engaging way. There is also a strong interactive element to the campaign with members of the public being encouraged to go online at Facebook.com and search ‘Bin it your way’, view the dance moves, and record and upload some of their own.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Westmeath County Council and the other 22 local authorities who are taking part in this year’s campaign as their work is critical to achieving our goals,” said GLT chairman Mr Paul Kelly.

Paying tribute to the local authorities who have supported the campaign over the years Kelly said: “Without the help and support of Westmeath County Council we would not have been able to achieve the overall 57 per cent baseline reduction in litter levels recorded during the last three year programme”.

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