Fines of €150 are rarely enforced as the perpetrators are elusive


Gum spill fines have been rare since the nationwide crackdown on the problem 15 years ago.

n 2006, the Gum Litter Taskforce (GLT) launched a campaign to raise awareness of the €150 litter fine, which has been expanded nationwide in subsequent years.

Since then, it has been intended to draw attention to the fact that there is a risk of a fine of 150 euros if you dispose of chewing gum incorrectly – for example dropping it on the floor or sticking it to a railing.

Local authorities say it is difficult to enforce this fine as the perpetrator has to be caught by a council officer.

However, one council said it had processed a throwing penalty based on a complaint made by a member of the public who had filled out a witness form.

In response to a Freedom of Information request, Tipperary County Council said it fined chewing gum waste in 2002 and 2005, both of which were paid.

“The number of fines imposed for this particular waste-related offense is small because they can be extremely difficult to prove,” a council spokesman said. “A local authority officer would have to witness the person discarding the gum and may have difficulty getting names/addresses to issue fines. It is therefore a difficult offense to enforce.”

Meath County Council said it fined it last year, but there are no records of fines for gum litter for previous years.

Louth County Council said it only processed one fine for chewing gum waste, and that was in 2019, based on a complaint from a member of the public who filled out a witness form.

Carlow County Council, Longford County Council, Kildare County Council, Mayo County Council, Sligo County Council and Roscommon County Council have never imposed a fine for chewing gum waste.

From all the counties that have provided the Irish Independent With fines records for gum litter, Fingal County Council had the highest at three in 2020 and two last year.

Westmeath County Council, Kilkenny County Council, South Dublin County Council and Donegal County Council said the records either don’t exist or they only keep records of litter fines that don’t say whether it was chewing gum .

The Gum Litter Taskforce said its campaign has been “a resounding success” over the past 15 years, resulting in a 64 percent reduction in gum waste. Fines of €150 are rarely enforced as the perpetrators are elusive

Fry Electronics Team

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