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Chewing gum bins target sticky problem

Innovative new ‘chewing gum’ bins have been stuck on lampposts along John Street in Porthcawl as part of the latest move to encourage recycling and cut down on waste.

As well as helping to prevent discarded chewing gum from forming an unsightly, hard-to-remove stain, the bins are also a creative example of recycling in action as they are also made from recycled chewing gum.

Once the ‘GumDrop Bins’ are full, they are taken away and everything is recycled to produce more bins as well as products such as wellie boots.

The continuing partnership between Bridgend County Borough Council and Porthcawl Town Council has led to Porthcawl becoming one of the first Welsh towns to have the innovative bins, but it’s not the only improvement helping to keep Porthcawl clean.

Following discussions with local takeaway businesses, three dedicated bins will be added in the Western Promenade, John Street and Griffin Park areas to trial the recycling of fast food takeaway packaging.

Thanks to funding from Welsh Government, the local authority will also soon be installing two water fountains along the seafront to help encourage people to carry reusable bottles which they can fill up with water for free rather than needing to buy single-use plastic bottles.

Chewing gum is a blight on our streets here, just as it is in every other town up and down the land. Gum is the second most common type of street litter after cigarette materials, and UK councils spend around £50m each year cleaning up the mess.

So we really welcome the new GumDrop bins which offer a creative way of getting people to dispose of their gum responsibly. Everything gets recycled, including the bin, and then a new one is put in its place.

Early last year we launched our ‘Porthcawl – love it don’t trash it’ campaign which features posters designed by schoolchildren to help encourage residents and visitors to be responsible with their litter. We need to change people’s behaviour, and these new chewing gum bins, dedicated recycling bins and water stations are an extension of that initiative, helping to encourage everyone to do their bit to keep Porthcawl’s streets and beaches clean.

Councillor Hywel Williams, the council’s Deputy Leader

GumDrop bins have been created by British entrepreneur Anna Bullus. After researching the chemistry of chewing gum, and discovering that its main ingredient is a type of polymer similar to plastic, she realised that used chewing gum was a potentially useful material.

The University of Winchester was one of the first places to sign up to use the bins, while Great Western Railway has installed them in more than 25 of its railway stations.

For general enquiries, please contact Bridgend County Borough Council's customer contact centre:

Telephone: 01656 643643
Opening hours:

09:00 to 17:00 Monday to Thursday; 
09:00 to 16:30 Friday.

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