South West Wales

Chewing gum litter: Carmarthenshire council fines woman £75

Anti-litter group Keep Wales Tidy says it hopes a woman being fined for discarding chewing gum on the floor will deter others from doing so.

Carmarthenshire council officers issued a fixed penalty notice to the woman for £75 at McDonald's in Cross Hands.

The council said this was the first fine it had issued for chewing gum litter.

Keep Wales Tidy said such litter was a "massive problem" and welcomed anything that would act as a deterrent.

"I think usually Keep Wales Tidy would say it's a mixture of awareness raising and education, and sometimes that's not enough and other measures are thought necessary," said a spokesperson.

"It's something that if it's a deterrent, then we welcome anything that discourages people from throwing litter or chewing gum on the floor because it's bad for the environment."

Council officers saw the woman throw the gum on the ground, and then a cigarette after smoking it.

"This is the first fine that we have issued specifically for chewing gum litter," said Jim Jones, the council's executive board member for environmental and public protection.

"Our enforcement officers have to carry out patrols across the county and it can be very difficult to catch people in the act."

'Cleaner and safer'

Mr Jones said the council had no choice than to fine people if they did not put litter in the bin.

He 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."

The council said it cost approximately £30,000 a year to remove chewing gum from the streets.

It has previously been estimated that discarded chewing gum costs councils across the UK over £100m to clean up every year.

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