A proposal for a new law imposing a 5p levy on chewing gum sales was defeated in the Welsh Assembly on Wednesday.

The measure was voted down by 30 votes to 17. Darren Millar AM (Assembly Member) had put forward the plans in an attempt to raise revenue to tackle chewing gum waste and litter.

In a briefing sent to all AMs ahead of the debate, the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) highlighted retailers’ opposition to the proposed levy as an unnecessary tax on consumers and burden on the more than 3,000 convenience stores operating in Wales.

If introduced, the levy would have been equivalent to an increase of 50% on the rate of VAT (on a 50p pack of chewing gum).

ACS also highlighted the on-going efforts of retailers to work within communities and with organisations such as Keep Britain Tidy, to support anti-litter campaigns such as ‘Love Where You Live’.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “ACS is delighted that the Welsh Assembly recognised the existing work of retailers and communities to tackle waste issues and have prevented the introduction of a new tax on retailers and their customers. Evidence shows that educating customers and providing local solutions to local issues are often far more effective than imposing taxes or regulatory burdens.

“ACS and our members will continue to support measures to tackle litter and waste issues, through national, regional and local initiatives.”