The proposals form part of a consultation paper, Living Places: Rights, Powers, Responsibilities, which outlines 27 initiatives giving local councils additional powers to combat urban nuisances.
Retailers contacted by The Grocer believe the government is trying to shift responsibility. "The onus should be on local authorities to reallocate their resources. We already pay enough through taxes and rates," commented one retailer with a convenience multiple.
The Wrigley Company said a ban or tax would fail to tackle the causes of gum residue and litter. However it welcomed the proposal to enforce litter fines.
The government also plans to restrict the sale of gum. Retailers have raised concerns about the potential loss of revenue.
Wrigley said a fully stocked display could make up to 25% of countline profit.