The Luxembourg Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure - Department of the Environment relaunched its multimedia awareness campaign against littering in Luxembourg during the summer months.
The main visuals of the previous anti-littering campaign were the large signs along the motorways which aimed to be easily-recognisable. In addition, since mid-September a new visual has been visible in Luxembourg railway stations and bus shelters. The visual deals with a problem on par with cigarette butts in cities: throwing chewing gum on the ground.
With few exceptions, most chewing gums are not biodegradable. This can be explained by the fact that chewing gum is made of plastics. After a few years of degradation, the residues of chewing gum are no longer visible, but they can remain and accumulate in the environment.
This part of the campaign also focuses on littering in the countryside. In addition to the adverse impacts on the environment, human health and animals, the act of throwing waste (butts, chewing gum, empty packaging) away in the wild is illegal and can lead to a taxed warning between €49 (eg for throwing or spitting out chewing gum on the footpath) and €250 (for the elimination of waste in a water source).
According to the ECOlogique magazine of the City of Luxembourg, "chewing gum costs the City between €30,000 and €40,000 each year! Because these gums that are spit out, stick, dry and harden all over the city - when they do not end on the sole of our shoes! - must be removed. It is necessary to implement a special process, carried out by a private firm on behalf of the City and only possible at certain times of the year, for temperature reasons."