For this week’s Nostalgia, we are going back to the summer of 2006 when a unique-method to tackle discarded gum on the streets.

During July of that year, neighbouring Newbury became one of the first Berkshire towns to clamp down on the eyesore that was flattened gum on pavements and roads.

After receiving more and more complaints, along with grumbles among the pub, the town decided to put an anti-stick coating near the town’s shopping centre.

Newbury's Northbrook Street got the surface protected to reduce the risk of West Berkshire Council having to clear up discarded gum.

Then Councillor Emma Webster told the BBC 16 years ago: “People dropping gum onto the pavement instead of into the bins provided is making it look dirty and unpleasant.

‘Gum pouches’ were be provided as an alternative way to dispose of the gum.

This came in the same week that fines would be administered to those caught discarded their gum on the streets certain parts of Berkshire.

Bracknell, Reading, Slough and Windsor were some of the areas that all supported the notion as they aimed to keep their pavements clear of the litter.

This came after two months of steam-cleaning that removed nearly 250,000 pieces of chewing gum from 23,000 sq m of pavement in the town centre.

Neil Scott, who was the operations manager for Reading’s Business Improvement District (BID), organised the cleaning.

He said back in 2006 “I think removing all the gum from the streets has instilled a high level of civic pride. People don’t want to see it degrade again. They want to see these people that are responsible for degrading it get the message.

“PCSOs have the powers to issue fixed penalty notices and that does include chewing gum and it does include cigarette ends. They will have the powers to enforce that.

“But they won’t be spending all day chasing around litter droppers – we are not a vigilante organisation at all.

“The level of fine is still being confirmed.”

According to Statista, in 2021, over 15 million British pounds' worth of chewing gum were exported from the United Kingdom to other countries within the European Union.

The equivalent data on the value of chewing gum imports into the United Kingdom split by European Union and non European Union trade can be found at the following.