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Adelaide looks at sticky solution -

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ELEANOR HALL: The Adelaide City Council is so tired of cleaning up chewing gum from the city
streets - that it is considering banning the sale of gum in the CBD.

The Lord Mayor says the council is in negotiations with the main distributor of chewing gum in
Australia for it to pay to remove any gum from the sidewalks.

But he says if that fails the ban will go ahead.

As Nance Haxton reports.

NANCE HAXTON: The Adelaide City Council is determined to rid itself of at least one blot on the CBD
landscape - that of chewing gum on the sidewalks.

Lord Mayor Michael Harbison says the cost of removing the chewing gum has forced the council to

MICHAEL HARBISON: Adelaide City Council is now spending over $200,000 a year scraping chewing gum
off footpaths and it is just the tip of the iceberg. So we finally lost patience. We've said to
Wrigley's chewing gum, put up or shut up.

Fund an education program or scrape the chewing gum off yourself; but we are not going to take
responsibility for their product.

NANCE HAXTON: And how would a ban work? What is the city council looking at there?

MICHAEL HARBISON: That would be a ban on the sale of chewing gum in the CBD unless Wrigley's can
demonstrate that they have an education program that works or as a last resort, they are going to
get out there and scrape up the chewing gum instead of rate payers having to pay to scrape this
mess off the footpath.

NANCE HAXTON: Wouldn't there be a problem though that people could still bring in their own chewing
gum, even if they didn't buy it in the CBD?

MICHAEL HARBISON: Well, that is for Wrigley's to work out. We want them to demonstrate that they
have a solution to this problem that doesn't cost the ratepayers of Adelaide.

NANCE HAXTON: In a statement the Wrigley Company corporate affairs director Catherine Pemberton
says that correct disposal of any kind of litter is a personal responsibility.

She says the prevention of litter is the only sustainable solution to the problem, which requires
the provision of bins, and the enforcement of litter laws.

But Lord Mayor Michael Harbison says council staff are now looking at the best way to implement a
ban on the sale of chewing gum in the CBD to try and stop the problem.

MICHAEL HARBISON: We have had our staff set to work on a by-law which would be intended to ban the
sale of chewing gum unless Wrigley's can demonstrate that they have a program in place to get this
mess off our footpaths.

NANCE HAXTON: How have negotiations with Wrigley been going on this issue?

MICHAEL HARBISON: Well for years Wrigley's have been telling us the only sustainable solution is
education and that is all very well but I think Wrigley's should pay for the education not the
ratepayers of the city of Adelaide.

NANCE HAXTON: So Adelaide could be going down the same path as Singapore by banning chewing gum on
the city streets?

MICHAEL HARBISON: Well Singapore hasn't banned chewing gum. They have just said that it is an
offence to drop the chewing gum in the streets.

We are saying it is up to the chewing gum company. There is only one chewing gum company
effectively, that is Wrigley's. We have said it is your chewing gum. You work it out.

NANCE HAXTON: What sort of punishment would there be for people who are caught dropping chewing gum
if it is banned?

MICHAEL HARBISON: There are fines for littering. We would be pleased to see something that is more
appropriate for a smaller offence like this. That is not the reason we are pursuing. We are asking
the company that produces this themselves and profits from the chewing gum to take some
responsibility for their product.

We call it product stewardship. The concept of product stewardship is growing in popularity. In
South Australia we have a Beverage Container Act that requires manufacturers to make a charge to
fund the collection of the empty containers and it is a good system - admired around the world.

In this case we want the chewing gum manufacturer, Wrigley to take a bit of product stewardship. To
take responsibility for what's happening with the product.

ELEANOR HALL: That is Adelaide Lord Mayor Michael Harbison with Nance Haxton.