Daily Archives: March 2, 2011

Goody Goody Gumdrops

I have just walked along a street littered with splatters of chewing gum slowly bubbling in the mid day sun. They wait patiently for some unfortunate to step on and there by immediately superglue onto the base of their sole.

The Attack of Chewing Gum I tell you what it messed with my soul as I tiptoed through the sticky minefield. Surely there has to be an answer that isn’t as extreme as the Singapore solution of banning chewing gum. Then again, it cost millions upon millions of dollars every year for it to be cleaned off streets around the world. Money that could be spent on... well there is everything from healthcare, education, public transport... the list is endless. Even if you are good and put it in the bin, it will just end up as landfill that takes forever to decompose.Chewing Gum

 

Frightening Fact: Oxford street in London – over 30,000 pieces of chewing gum will end up stuck on the street each DAY!

Oxford Street, London

 

Product Designer, Anna Bullus decided to find a solution. After months in a lab she has found a way to turn chewed gum into a rubber. From there, with the help of secret ingredients, she is able to extract a polymer that she has names BRGP (Bullus Recycled Gum Polymer).

Great, you say, but how does that deal with the gum that was on the street and is now on the bottom of my shoe?

Anna Bullus

 

She has used the polymer to create The Gumdrop Bin. These clearly identifiable bins would be placed at easily accessible spots throughout the city. When the flavour has gone from your gum you place it in the Gumdrop Bin. Now the real genius is that when the bin is full it is collected and it along with its contents are recycled into BRGP which in turn can create more bins. Over time it is hoped that this polymer could be used to create other things currently made from plastics or rubber like, ironically, shoe soles. It would certainly give new meaning to a pair of gum boots…

The Gumdrop Bin

 

Of course the system isn’t perfect as it relies on us making the conscious decision to place the gum in the bin and not spit it out onto the street. It does mean that people will have to be educated on what the bins are for (and of course what they are not for… i.e. other litter). But with potential millions being saved surely this is a monumental step (minus the chewing gum on the sole of your shoe) in the right direction. Fingers crossed the current trials under way in the UK work!

Gumdrop Bin In Use

 

And perhaps the guilty gum spitters could be encouraged… say held down and the offending gum put in their hair to help them get the message.

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