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MP calls for tax on chewing gum

He wants to end 'sticky menace' on streets

An MP is calling for a tax on chewing gum in a bid to stop the ‘menace’ of sticky waste on the nation’s streets.

Labour’s Graham Allen – who represents Nottingham North – wants the industry to do more to tackle the problem, such as developing biodegradable gum.

He has secured a short Westminster Hall debate next week and wants ministers to ‘chew over’ the issue in the meantime.


Urging ‘radical new solutions’, Mr Allen will say manufacturers do not at present have the incentive to spend more money on research into biodegradable gum.

He says Nottingham’s Market Square is ‘befouled’ by the gum problem which is even appearing in the Palace of Westminster.

Mr Allen will say of people who drop gum on the floor: ‘They have no conscience at all.’


He will add: ‘The only way to deal with them is to deter them from chewing gum at all and the best way to do that is through taxation.’

The ‘mere threat’ would ‘concentrate wonderfully’ the minds of manufacturers and give them a financial motive to develop biodegradable gum.

Yesterday Mr Allen said: ‘I have stuck at my campaign on this topic and hope the Government will chew over my ideas before Wednesday. Chewing gum is a menace which blights every street in the country.’

He added: ‘I will be calling on the industry and government to do more to tackle the problem.

‘We need radical new solutions – like biodegradable gum – to tackle the problem. If the industry does not face up to the consequences of its product then it – as the polluter – should pay.’

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