KBT: Croydon BID says goodbye to chewing gum staining

Chewing gum stains are being deep cleaned from the streets of Croydon town centre thanks to a £20,000 Chewing Gum Task Force grant awarded to Croydon Council and additional funding from Croydon BID.
Croydon was among the first councils to be awarded £20k in funding from The Chewing Gum Task Force grant scheme; a brand-new fund administered by Keep Britain Tidy to help clean chewing gum from the UK’s towns and cities.

Croydon BID supplied additional funding to maximise the impact of the grant and provided all operational management for the planning, scheduling, and monitoring of all works.

In total, the Croydon BID cleansing team have provided 280 hours of heavy cleaning and chewing gum removal, over the course of 25 nights, in North End, George Street and Church Street.

To provide a clean and welcoming environment for those that live, work, and visit Croydon town centre is of the utmost importance for us. Working with Croydon Council and the Chewing Gum Task Force, we are pleased to have been able to enhance our efforts to remove gum and to support efforts to change people’s behaviour when it comes to discarding their gum. Our cleansing team has provided 280 hours of heavy cleaning, working through many nights, which has resulted in improvements in the town’s appearance as we move into the critical Christmas trading period for the town.
Matthew Sims, Chief Executive, Croydon Business Improvement District (BID)

To make the bins in the town centre more prominent, bold signage has been installed by Croydon Council, intended to deter further gum littering, by reminding consumers to bin their gum.

Previous pilots in other parts of the UK of the behavioural change signage have reduced gum littering by up to 64%.

Cleaning up the town centre is a key priority for me, and I know it is something that matters deeply to our residents and local businesses. Stains from chewing gum are unsightly and difficult to remove, so I very much welcome this intervention and appreciate the work being done to restore pride and keep our streets looking their best. Littering is a criminal offence, whether it be a coffee cup or bubble gum – the right place for it is always a bin.
Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon

The £20,000 funding was awarded to Croydon Council as part of a package of up to £10 million, paid for by major gum manufacturers, including Mars Wrigley and Perfetti Van Melle, to tackle chewing gum stains. The investment is being shared across local authorities in England and will be spread over five years.

For more information on the project, please visit Keep Britain Tidy Chewing Gum Taskforce.