Sticky like a chewing gum!
3.1 million tons of chewing gum are consumed per year worldwide, out of which 80% to 90% is not thrown in the trash can. Indeed, the main problem resides in the face that it is extremely difficult to clean the gum off the pavement.
In 1992, Singapore government outlawed the chewing-gum. This law has been voted after a technical problem in the subway caused by chewing-gums that blocked the opening mechanism of the cars.
Since then, heavy penalties have been introduced ranging from $ 1,000 Singaporean (the equivalent of € 700) to imprisonment for a recidivist caught spitting his chewing-gum on the floor.
In 2015, the famous Seattle gum Wall (1 million chewing-gum sticked in 20 years) was cleaned because of bad smells. They scraped it off with high pressure steam cleaners. This operation lasted 3 days and costed $ 4000.
In London, 3.5 billion of chewing-gums are thrown into the street every year and £ 10 million a year are spent on cleaning.
Forbidding chewing-gums, is it the solution?
Usually, people who toss their chewing-gum in the street justify their action by the absence of garbage cans, some of them even believe that it is biodegradable. It should be known that a chewing gum is an inert polymer. Exposed to the sun and to different temperatures, it deteriorates only after a few years.
That’s where came the idea of a return to a traditional chewing gum based on latex and natural flavours which makes it biodegradable. Another possibility was found by a company who started recycling chewing gum into modular plastic.
One way to solve this problem could be to implement a tax towards gum factory in order to help cleaning founds. The biggest challenge remains to encourage gum chewers to throw it in the garbage and educate people.