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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 August 2005, 10:50 GMT 11:50 UK
Gum boards tackle sticky problem
Chewing gum board on a lamppost in Preston
The boards are cleaned at least once a day
Chewing gum fans are being urged to stick their used pieces on city centre lamp-posts.

"Gum boards" have been set up in Preston, Lancashire, to stop people throwing their old chewing gum on to the pavements.

The boards are coated with a peelable plastic which is removed every day. They have already helped reduced gum litter by nearly 80% in the city.

Gum pouches to discard used pieces have also been handed out to chewers.

The gum boards are on 10 lamp-posts throughout the city centre and are filled with hundreds of used pieces every day.

Sonia Scowcroft, litter education officer at Preston City Council, is behind the inventive campaign.

She told the BBC News website that the gum problem was so bad in some parts of the city that people thought the discarded pieces were a pattern in the pavement.

In the UK, 281m is spent on chewing gum every year
The government spends 150m each year on cleaning up gum on the UK's streets
Singapore banned gum in 1992 because of a litter problem, but nicotine gum was allowed last year
Preston, Manchester and Maidstone are pilot areas for the Chewing Gum Action Group's anti-litter initiative

"The boards are very visual and set at a height so they are easy to reach, but not so that people are bumping into them," she said.

"People who find it a bit disgusting are often fans of the gum pouch which as pieces of paper inside to wrap the gum in, which can be kept in the pouch and thrown away later."

Ms Scowcroft also runs the loud hailer litter campaign in Preston, in which offenders are shouted at in the street to embarrass them into picking up their litter.

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15 Aug 05 |  North Yorkshire

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