A chewing gum tax to help fund the cost of cleaning gum from the streets is back on the political agenda in the Irish Republic.

New Environment Minister John Gormley - leader of the Irish Green Party - said he was unhappy with the voluntary agreement his predecessor reached with Wrigley's nearly two years ago, that led to a planned tax being dropped.

Under the deal, the American multinational, which has nearly 90% of the Irish gum market, agreed to pay €2m (£1.3m) a year for three years to fund a litter awareness campaign.

But Gormley said he wanted to see Wrigley's pay more. Figures show that gum accounts for 25% of street pollution in Ireland.

Gormley warned that if the situation did not improve, a levy on gum packs would be introduced when the current agreement with Wrigley's ran out in just over a year's time.

The experience with plastic bags showed how successful an anti-pollution levy could be, he said.