A LOCAL campaign appealing to people's patriotic instincts has helped stamp out a stick problem in the Highlands, it has been claimed.
The “Do your country proud…bin your gum” scheme has seen a reduction of 68 per cent in littered gum in the region, statistics released today say.
The campaign, which ran during March and April, was funded by the Chewing Gum Action Group.
That's a joint initiative between the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the chewing gum industry, Keep Britain Tidy and Chartered Institution of Wastes Management.
It aims to achieve a long-term solution to the irresponsible disposal of chewing gum.
The group’s sixth annual campaign saw local authorities across the country working with communities to encourage people to take responsibility for their litter and put their used gum in a bin.
Details on how the statistics were arrived at were not included in the statement issued on Monday.
The 2012 campaign played on civic pride ahead of events like the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee.
A spokesperson for the Chewing Gum Action Group said: “We are really pleased with the reduction in Highland and grateful for all the support the local authority has provided.
"Encouraging behaviour change is the only long-term and sustainable solution to the problem of littered gum and we remain totally committed to tackling this issue.”
Chairman of The Highland Council’s TEC Services Committee, Councillor Graham Phillips said: “Spitting out chewing gum is disgusting and causes a significant problem on our streets and public spaces.
"The high cost of cleaning up all this carelessly discarded gum means that money from council tax payers is diverted from doing other improvement work in communities. The message is very simple - “chew it, wrap it, bin it”.