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Creating A Sustainable Chewing Gum


Did you know that chewing gum takes over 50 years to biodegrade?  Worldwide consumption of chewing gum is up to 560,000 tons this past year.   That’s a lot gum stuck in your hair, on the sidewalk, in your intestines, or in a public landfill.  The funny thing is that no one has taken the time to evaluate gum’s impact in landfills, or its cleanup costs to the public.  Though the city of London estimates that it spends $15 million a year on cleaning up gum from sidewalks.  Chewing gum has not had a technological innovation until this year.  A British scientist at the University of Bristol, Professor Terence Cosgrove, has invented a sustainable gum that can dissolve with water.  Unlike regular gum, which is water-resistant, this gum is said to dissolve with water, making it thirty percent easier to remove from clothes and sidewalks. The gum also can disintegrate into a fine powder using water and mild agitation over six months.  The way this gum works is that its polymer technology encourages water to form a layer around the gum, allowing it to be more easily removed from most surfaces.  It also allows water to penetrate and begin the disintegration process, making it more biodegradable than commercial gum.  The big question for all of us gum lovers is how does it taste compared to the old stuff?  We’ll have to wait and see, right now no gum manufacturer has jumped on the sustainable gum bandwagon, yet.


  1. Chicza brand organic chewing gum from Mexico is 100% organic and bio-degradable.
    Tree Hugger Gum, available at Whole Foods in the Mid Atlantic USA stores comes close.


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