|Woman is first in county to be fined for chewing gum litter|
|News - Community News|
|Thursday, 04 October 2012 10:43|
The first litter fine for chewing gum has been issued in Carmarthenshire.Council environmental enforcement officers have issued a fixed penalty notice for £75 to a woman at McDonald’s in Cross Hands.
Officers were on duty in the area and saw the woman take the chewing gum from her mouth and throw it onto the ground.
They continued to observe her to give her a chance to pick it up; however, she then lit up a cigarette and after finishing it, threw that onto the ground as well.
Failure to pay the fine could lead to prosecution in the magistrates court and a maximum fine of up to £2,500.
Executive Board Member for Environmental and Public Protection Cllr Jim Jones said: “This is the first fine that we have issued specifically for chewing gum litter. Our enforcement officers have to carry out patrols across the county and it can be very difficult to catch people in the act.
“Obviously we don’t want to fine people; we would prefer they don’t drop litter in the first place, but if they fail to take notice then we have no choice.”
The council has taken part in a national chewing gum litter campaign, funded by the Chewing Gum Action Group, for the past three years. The aim is to encourage people to put their gum in the bin and remind them that dropping litter is an offence.
Not only is chewing gum litter an eyesore but it can stick to people’s clothes and shoes and it is difficult and costly to clean up. In fact, it costs the council approximately £30,000 a year to remove chewing gum from our streets.
Cllr Jones added: “I hope people will take notice of this fine and put their litter in the bin, whether it’s chewing gum or another type of litter. The council is determined to create a cleaner and safer environment for both residents and visitors to Carmarthenshire.”