World Hacks: A surprising new afterlife for chewing gum

Home / World News / World Hacks: A surprising new afterlife for chewing gumpage 774

World Hacks: A surprising new afterlife for chewing gum

British designer Anna Bullus is on a mission to recycle chewing gum into useful objects, cleaning up our streets in the process.

More than £14bn is spent on chewing gum around the world each year, but a lot of that gum will end up stuck to the ground.

Gum is the second most common type of street litter after cigarette materials.

In the UK, councils spend around £50m each year cleaning up the mess.

But Anna had an idea. What if the sticky stuff could actually be recycled and turned into useful objects?

Around 10 years ago, she began a project looking at kerbside litter. She examined random samples, looking at things like crisp packets and cigarette butts. She then tried to figure out which elements could be recycled.

“One of the litters I found was a piece of chewing gum and as a designer I was completely amazed there was nothing actually being done to recycle it,” she said.

Researching the chemistry of chewing gum, she discovered that its main ingredient, the gum base, is commonly a synthetic rubber, a type of polymer similar to plastic.

Login

Lost your password?
Skip to toolbar