News ID: 110613
Published: 0418 GMT January 31, 2015

Cigarette, chewing gum producers urged to clean UK streets

Cigarette, chewing gum producers urged to clean UK streets

Chewing gum companies and fast food outlets in Britain should help clean the country’s streets as part of a first-ever “national spring clean” to rid areas of litter, ministers have said.

Kris Hopkins, a minister at the Department for Communities and Local Government, said the companies could help the government on the first-ever community clear up day in seven weeks’ time, The Telegraph reported.

It also emerged that Hopkins and his ministerial colleague Dan Rogerson have written to the Chancellor George Osborne to urge him to force tobacco companies to pay for cleaning up cigarette butts and packets, which account for nearly a third of street litter.

Research by Keep Britain Tidy suggests that more than half the population drop litter and the government is keen to effect "widespread behavior change" by making dropping litter as unacceptable.

The “community clear up day” is being held on Saturday 21 March 2015. Tthe first day of spring will aim to spruce up the country’s city centers, high streets, villages and parks.

Chewing gum and snack manufacturers and fast food takeaways are being urged to take part.

Hopkins said, “This is a call to arms for communities great and small to help us end this litter scourge by taking greater pride in our neighborhoods.

“It is time to roll up our sleeves and bring the broom back out of the cupboard because by looking after our local areas, we can help make them better places to work and live.

“I also urge the manufacturers of items commonly associated with littering – such as soft drinks, chewing gum, crisps, confectionery and fast food – to join us in this day and contribute to the clear up of our streets and public places.”

Councils in England spend more than £800 million every year on street cleansing.

Hopkins said people had to recognize that dropping litter and forcing councils to clear up the mess meant that councils had to divert cash from key areas like elderly care.

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