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Page last updated at 09:56 GMT, Friday, 9 July 2010 10:56 UK
Mayor to tackle London's gum litter problem

Chewing gum litter at Oxford Circus
Every year 10 million is spent cleaning chewing gum off London's streets

Mayor of London Boris Johnson is waging war on chewing gum litter on the capital's streets.

He has called on London to tackle the problem particularly in the lead up the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Mr Johnson hosted a City Hall summit bringing together chewing gum manufacturers, disposal and clean-up experts, borough councils and other key organisations.

The summit explored solutions to remove chewing gum from our streets and how to change people's behaviour and stop them dropping gum in the first place.

The cost of cleaning up London's streets from chewing gum is estimated as being as much as £10 million every year
Chewing gum takes up to five years to degrade
The cost of removing each bit of chewing gum is between 50p and £2
Deep cleaning the entire length of Oxford Street to remove chewing gum takes three months and over 300,000 individual pieces are removed

They also discussed the latest innovative technologies on the market, for example a scheme by Gumdrop to recycle old chewing gum into plastic bins for discarded gum.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "Gum detritus casts an unsightly stain on our beautiful city and scraping it off our streets is also a great drain on taxpayers' money.

"I want visitors in 2012 to be welcomed to a sparkling clean capital, not be greeted by the sight of chewing gum blighted streets."

The Mayor has pledged to reduce litter in the capital in the run up to the 2012 Games.

In the coming months there will be a litter summit with the Campaign for Protection for Rural England, London Councils and Keep Britain Tidy, work to improve access to litter bins on the London Underground network and the Mayor is currently talking to the boroughs about a scheme to make it easier for Londoners to report flytipping in their areas.

In the spring there will also be London clean up campaigns.



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