Are you glued to your gum?

Photo by Valkyrie Pierce on Unsplash

We’ve all trodden on it and got it lodged on the sole of our shoes; we’ve found it lurking under the rim of a table at a cafe or stuck to our clothes! The original chewing gum was made from chicle, a natural product from the sap of trees native to Mexico. Now it is made from many synthetic ingredients.

Did you realise that modern chewing gum contains plastic?

The process starts with a gum base which, in the case of most chewing gum, contains synthetic ingredients such as petroleum wax, butyl rubber, paraffin, polyethylene and polyvinyl acetate.  The last two ingredients are also used in the manufacture of plastic bags, children’s toys and glue!  Makes you think, doesn’t it?

To this gum base is added softeners, artificial sweeteners, flavourings and preservatives. If you are vegetarian or vegan, you may like to check out whether the contents of the gum dovetail with your choices.

Not only is this an issue for our long-term health, the use of plastic in chewing gum raises environmental concerns too; when discarded carelessly it will prove harmful to wildlife if swallowed.  It’s the second most littered item on the planet.

  • Why not switch to a gum made from a 100 per cent natural base and 100 per cent natural ingredients? (For instance, Chewsy, NUUD, True Gum etc)
  • Could you try to make your own using food grade beeswax? (Have a look at YouTube)
  • Why not do without? Is it just a habit you could wean yourself off by cutting down gradually?

Could you reduce your contribution to the annual 100,000 tonnes of this type of plastic pollution and improve your health and our environment?  It starts with the individual.

For more top tips from Plastic Free Axminster, click here.