The scheme will see chewing gum producers, including Mars Wrigley, GlaxoSmithKline and Perfetti Van Melle, managed by charity Keep Britain Tidy, invest up to £10 million over the next five years to help reduce gum litter.
The investment will be used to clean up historic gum litter staining and use behavioural interventions to encourage people to bin their gum.
Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said:
The stains of discarded chewing gum are a blight on our communities, spoiling our streets and wasting millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money.
“This new scheme means chewing gum producers are not only helping to clean up towns and cities as they welcome people back to our high streets, but crucially taking action to prevent people littering in the first place.
“We are committed to building back better and greener and this commitment to making town centres a more attractive and inviting place is a key part of our long-term strategy to breathe new life into our communities.
Littering is a criminal offence and the Government has already empowered local authorities by increasing on-the-spot penalties for offenders to £150, rising to up to £2,500 if convicted in court. The Government is seeking powers in the Environment Bill to ensure that enforcement powers are used with a high degree of professionalism, whether by council staff or private contractors, and to place our improved enforcement guidance on a firm statutory footing.