A designer in the United Kingdom is developing a plan to collect and recycle chewed gum and turn it into a plastic that can be molded into new products. Gross, I know, but interesting. The designer is Anna Bullus, who, according to her biography, left a job at Chase Furniture in 2008 to set up her own company, Gumdrop Ltd., "to tackle the global problem of gum litter." Her web site is filled with statistics about the problems caused by gum litter, including the cost of cleaning it up that burdens big cities like London. For example, she claims that Britain creates, on average, 7,000 metric tons of used gum each year. More "gum facts" from her site:
- On average 30,000 pieces of gum are irresponsibly discarded everyday on Oxford Street in London.
- If everyone in the UK stopped irresponsibly discarding their gum on Oxford Street today, it would still take over 4 months to clean the existing gum off the street.
- Cleaning chewing gum off the streets in the UK, on average, costs three times the price of a piece of gum.
- Three and a half billion pieces of gum are disposed of irresponsibly each year in the UK.
- The British Government spends ˆ£150 million each year on cleaning gum off the UK's streets.
- Nine out of ten city paving stones have gum stuck to them.