OMG! 😯 I’m learning so much at the moment about what crap are in these products and this #shocked me! @wasted.org.uk We all want to be fresh for that business lunch or unexpected meeting, and that gets many of us reaching for a stick or pellet of minty chewing gum. In fact, humans have been chewing gum for over 9,000 years and we now get through around 10,000 tonnes of the stuff worldwide, that’s 3.74 trillion sticks. The best-selling brand, Wrigley, uses 53 square miles of mint crops to flavour their gum each year!
One thing you may be shocked to learn about gum though, is that the chewy texture usually comes from a familiar material - yep, it’s plastic. The gum base that forms up to 35% of each piece is formed from three main components (resin, wax and elastomers) which are derived from polymers like polyethylene, synthetic rubbers, paraffin and petroleum wax. That old tale that "if you swallow it, it stays in your stomach forever" may not be true - it finds its way out eventually - but, due to that plastic content, once it’s in landfill it really does stick around. If it makes it that far, that is.
On average it costs 3-pence to buy a piece of gum, but 10-pence to remove one that’s stuck to the pavement. That soon adds up when you consider 9 out of 10 paving stones have gum stuck to them! Discarded gum is the second most common litter item after cigarette butts and it has become the scourge of every modern city. Some places, like Singapore, have banned it. Although attempts have been made to develop and launch degradable gum, none have been successful, while the problem continues to get worse.
So, when you’re next in need of a breath refresh we’d recommend more sucking and less chewing. Choose a mint tab instead of gum - ideally in a tin or cardboard packaging - and look for one with Xylitol for some extra dental health benefits. One of our favourites is available from Holland & Barrett stores in the UK and online #yourwasteyourresponsibility #reducewhatyouproduce #fightforyourworld #watchyourwaste #liveclean #makeachange #antilandfill #recycle #reuse #repair #refuse #repurpose #compost #plastic