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Last Updated: Tuesday May 10 2005 06:41 GMT

Gum tax wanted for cleaning costs

Chewing gum on UK street
Chewing gum could be about to get more expensive because cleaning it off the streets costs so much money.

At the moment it costs around 150m every year to scrape gum off the streets in the UK and 35 towns and cities are teaming up to make changes.

They want more people to understand how much work goes into cleaning up gum, hoping they'll then drop less of it.

A Westminster Council spokesman said it costs 3p to make a stick a gum, but 10p to clean it from the street.

Gum grumbles
Chewing gum on UK street
Wrigley's, who make chewing gum, reckon 47% of people in the UK are fans, and think sales in the UK are around 258m each year.

They say they've invested millions in trying to make gum that disappears on its own when dropped, but haven't been able to yet.

Cleaning chewing gum from a UK street
It costs 150m a year to clean up chewing gum
The local authorities want the makers of gum to make each pack 1p more expensive which could raise 9m to help teach people about clean-up costs.

People caught dropping gum in the UK can be fined as much as 50 if they're spotted doing it.



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