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Capital of Culture cracks down on chewers

Liverpool has called for a chewing gum tax to be in place across the UK when it becomes European Capital of Culture in 2008.

The plea signalled the city's frustration with the slow progress against gum litter, which costs an annual £150 million to clean up nationwide.

A coalition of local authorities from the five Home Nation capital cities pledged their support for such a levy last month - but failed to include a timescale.

Liverpool City Council leader Mike Storey said: "We are serious about tackling this issue, and want to join other cities in raising a 1p tax to help clean up chewing gum litter.

"If the large cities come together we could achieve this by the time that Liverpool becomes the European Capital of Culture in 2008 when it will represent the whole country.

"Chewing gum litter is a huge problem for us as it costs thousands of pounds to remove it."
But the Biscuit, Cake, Chocolate and Confectionary Association - which Wrigley is a member of - opposes any tax.

A spokesman said last month: "We believe that working with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs through the Chewing Gum Action Group, in addition to other education programmes, rather than a tax on manufacturers or the 28 million chewers of gum - many of whom chew for the health benefits it delivers - is a better way to tackle gum litter."

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