What are the alternatives to chewing gum?
It is quite common to walk down the street and find chewing gum stuck to the ground, on benches, traffic lights or walls. This is not only an aesthetic problem, but also a hygienic and, above all, an environmental one.
What is chewing gum made of?
Chewing gum ingredients are divided into two categories: soluble and insoluble.
Insoluble ingredients: insoluble ingredients are the basis of the gum and other components that provide the flavour.
Soluble ingredients: include sweeteners, some flavours, polyols, sugar and glucose syrup.
The ingredient that interests us most for its environmental aspect is gum.
Gum is made up of several things:
– Antioxidants: are used to prevent the oxidation of the gum base and the components that provide the taste.
– Elastomers: contribute to the elasticity of the rubber.
– Resins: are used to soften and bind the compound.
– Fillers: help to obtain a better texture.
– Plasticizers: contribute to the homogeneity of the mixture obtained and to the flexibility of the elastomer.
– Polyisobutylene: a synthetic rubber derived from crude oil. (basically plastic)
Chewing gum takes a long time to break down (between 3 and 5 years). And it is also because of Polyisobutylene that chewing gum is harmful to health.
But chewing gum is not only a problem when it is eaten, it is also a problem when it is thrown away and that is the most important part!
The consequences of throwing chewing gum anywhere
Although it may seem that chewing gum has no impact on our environment, leaving it lying around (roads, metro stations, buses, walls…) has a visual impact, as well as being harmful to hygiene and the environment.
Chewing gum causes hygiene problems because it attracts large quantities of germs. According to some studies, a single piece of chewing gum can contain up to 50,000 germs.
Another important problem is that the longer the chewing gum is in the area where it was deposited, the more it degrades it. Therefore, if the situation occurs in a natural environment, within a short time, that piece of soil is destroyed. In addition, chewing gum poses a danger to animals, plants and oceans.
Where to throw away your chewing gum?
Chewing gum should be wrapped in paper and disposed of in the nearest waste bin. At least this does not damage nature directly.
However, chewing conventional chewing gum will never be sustainable and environmentally friendly. Since chewing gum is not recyclable, it will have to go to a waste disposal site.
If you really feel the need to chew, why not try one of these more sustainable alternatives?
Chicza gum is a certified 100% natural and organic gum from the Chicozapote tree in the Mayan forest.
For fresh breath, you can simply chew mint leaves, cloves or cardamom pods.
There are also cardamom pods and clove chewing gum. Or the more classic mints without plastic packaging of course!
Click here to have a look at our previous article!