The proposed tax on single use plastics could adversely affect the chewing gum industry, warned an expert from data and analysis consultancy services firm GlobalData.

Chancellor Philip Hammond, in his Spring Statement, announced a consultation on what can be done to reduce the use of single use plastics, which could potentially include chewing gum.

The Statement also hinted at a possible tax, suggesting that “some of the money raised from any tax changes will be used to encourage the creation of new, greener products and services.” The call for consultation adds that “the government will consider all options for using the tax system to address single-use plastic waste and to drive innovation.”

Commenting on the development, David Harris, Senior Consumer Analyst at GlobalData said: ‘‘Chewing gum manufacturers will not appreciate being tarred with the same brush as plastic packaging, with this consultation into plastic waste in the UK. The majority of gum products in the UK are focused on providing oral health benefits; as such, an extra tax on sugar-free gum in particular could be a detriment to the nations’ oral health.

“Consumers, legislators and the industry do need to talk about the most effective ways of minimizing chewing gum waste. Street waste is a genuine issue, and chewing gum is part of the problem. However this broad consultancy focusing on taxation measures seems heavy handed, and a one-size fits all approach will not be the most effective way to tackle the issue.

“Taxation may be part of the solution, but simply adding cost to the price of a pack will not drive a significant change in the behaviour of consumers who are generating this street waste.’’

The consultation is open till May 18.