Person chewing gum

Action: Dispose of chewing gum properly

Chewing gum litter is gross and antisocial

Chewing gum is made from polymers – synthetic plastics that do not biodegrade (mmm … yummy!).

Please , if you have to chew gum, get rid of it properly afterwards.

Why is this important?

chewing gum packet

Chewing gum is basically flavoured plastic. It has no nutritional value and we chew it for the flavours alone, and then usually only through force of habit. Like many plastics, the polymers in gum do not biodegrade, so gum contributes to our big plastic waste problem.

Gum that is discarded enters the environment and like many plastics poisons our soils and water, and damages wildlife.

Gum should be put into a bin. In some places, there are special gum bins which collect gum for recycling, but generally the normal non-recyclable rubbish is the only place for it to go.

According to Keep Britain Tidy in the UK, gum creates unsightly litter (i.e a sticky yucky mess) across 95% of our streets and costs more to clean up than the gum itself. Also, pressure washing gum from our streets sends the plastic into the drains from where it enters the environment.

Sticky gum is particularly gross when it gets stuck on people’s shoes and clothing. Worse still, bad habits such as sticking gum underneath a table or on walls means that others may come into contact with it. This is unhygienic and antisocial.

Animals and birds eat gum, which clogs up their digestive system and makes them very ill or kills them.

Did you know that gum is the second most common litter item on our streets, after cigarette butts?!

Take action

For all of these reasons, please take action to dispose of your gum properly, simply wrap it in a tissue or a piece of paper and put it in a bin.

And, if you haven’t done so already, please sign up to our bulletin “Take Action” using the form below, and thank you for your support.

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