The Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, has announced that the on-the-spot litter fine will be increased from €125 to €150 in September as part of the Government's campaign to clean up the streets.

Mr Gormley announced details of the litter pollution monitoring system report for 2006 this morning.

Speaking on RTÉ’s News at One, Mr Gormley said he believes there should be an increase in the €2m the chewing gum industry contributes towards public awareness.

He said that the money should be used directly to clean the streets, adding that progress in litter reduction 'has been very slow'.

He added that the monitoring report showed a quarter of all litter was food-related, the second largest category, with chewing gum being the single largest component in this category.

Mr Gormley's predecessor, Dick Roche, introduced the current voluntary arrangement with chewing gum manufacturer Wrigley after abolishing the chewing gum tax.

Mr Gormley is understood to be unhappy that Wrigley is not footing the bill for gum removal, which costs local authorities millions of euro annually.

If, when the deal expires in 18 months, the situation has not improved, the Minister plans to bring in a chewing gum levy.

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Tony Kileen, has also announced that grants to local authorities to help improve public awareness about litter are being increased by 41% to €1m this year.

Irish Business Against Litter says local authorities must enforce the increased on-the-spot fines when they are introduced.

The organisation says that at present only a handful of fines are implemented by local authorities in any given week.