Bin your gum! Bristol Shopping Quarter tackles the sticky issue of chewing gum.

The Broadmead BID team is launching a new campaign to educate and inspire the people of Bristol to dispose of their gum responsibly through recycling. Each year, 935 million packs of gum are consumed in the UK of which 47% is thoughtlessly discarded in high footfall areas, creating litter strewn pavements, as well as costing city councils a fortune – on average it costs 30p per piece to remove.

Partnering with Gumdrop, an organisation which specialises in recycling used chewing gum to make many amazing products from rulers to guitar picks, americano mugs and even wellington boots! and LitterARTI, a Bristol based Arts Collective, famed for producing works of art from litter, the BID team hopes to address this issue with an innovative campaign which will be launched on 9th April at The Podium in Broadmead, between 11am – 3pm, and continue until the end of July. The project is supported by Bristol City Council and Bristol European Green Capital 2015.

At the launch event and at two further events, on Saturday 9th May and Saturday 20th June shoppers who use chewing gum will be offered a ‘Gumdrop’ – a small pink key ring container, made with recycled chewing gum, in which they will be asked to place their used gum. Once full – each Gumdrop takes up to 25 pieces of gum – they will be asked to deposit their Gumdrop into one of four specially-branded chewing gum recycling points at The Podium, in the centre of Broadmead.

The Gumdrops will be collected throughout the campaign and will be entered into a free prize draw, with the lucky winner receiving a £500 shopping voucher to spend in Bristol Shopping Quarter. The winner will be announced at the final event on Saturday 25th July.

Broadmead retailers have shown their backing for the initiative by agreeing to hold stocks of the Gumdrops in their stores. Replacement Gumdrops can be collected from: Berghaus, Bo-Concept, Co-Lab, Game, Lush, Runners Need & Cycle Surgery, Specsavers, Thomas Cook, Times Past Vintage Sweet Shoppe and The Fragrance Shop.

In order to measure the impact of the campaign, the BID cleansing team has agreed to monitor the number of pieces of chewing gum they remove for a control period before the project launches and then throughout the four month campaign period.

Jo Hawkins, Broadmead BID manager says: “Retailers within the Broadmead BID area pay a levy, part of which goes towards enhanced cleansing including the removal of chewing gum and it is hoped that this project will result in cleaner streets in Broadmead and will save money which can be spent on other things, which will benefit all BID businesses. This a great project to be undertaking in the year Bristol is European Green Capital.”

While a serious issue is being tackled, the campaign aims to promote the problems associated with the incorrect disposal of chewing gum in a fun, educational way. LitterARTI is curating events which bring together a collaboration of performing and visual artists, who will confront this unsightly issue with the shoppers in Broadmead, through public engagement art.

Annali Grimes from LitterARTI says: ” We are delighted to be part of this ground-breaking project, using the arts to address community issues and encourage civic participation. This project with the Broadmead BID is central to our city-wide litter awareness events to take place during 2015. Our partnerships with Bristol European Green Capital 2015 and Bristol City Council allow us to create new contexts for the arts, to educate about the effects of rubbish and promote recycling.”

Anna Bullus from Gumdrop adds: “We are very excited to be working with the Broadmead BID and LitterARTI to bring this exciting new initiative to Bristol. We hope that the campaign will help inspire chewers to recycle their chewing gum and in turn create a cleaner greener Bristol.”

The campaign will be promoted strongly via social media using the hashtag #bristolgumdrop, through work which LitterARTI carry out with young people, on posters and on a specially created webpage at www.gumdropltd.com/bristolgumdrop