I have often thought about the ways it would be possible to scrape off all that chewing gum from pavements throughout the world (excepting Singapore which banned it) and recycle it somehow. When I have insomnia I try to solve world problems like that!
Anyway, for a few years now, Anna Bullus has been striving over the challenge and now her ‘Gummy bins’ can be bought by councils and attached to traffic lights or other open areas. The chewers dump their dead gum into the bin and when it is full, it and the contents can be recycled into more bins or other polymer/plastic articles.
See all the news about these remarkable gadgets at: http://www.gummybin.com/
The rubber or matter collected IS of some use and it seems so wasteful to have all these small dobs of chemicals lying around unused.
I also feel that here is an opportunity for people or kids (but do wear rubber gloves – that gum harbours germs). Perhaps people can be given scrapers and a bonus for whatever they can collect. They could, like many Japanese aged or needy, co-opt an area to keep pristine and develop some kind of ‘ownership’ or responsibility for that space. The pride they could engender would be positive.
Initially, I had thought the best way to deal with the problem was to scrap it up, put it into a stampless envelope and send it back to Wrigley (and after they get a few million of these – postage to be paid for at their end – they may get off their backsides and address the challenge of their waste. Yes, chewers are responsible, but I also note that in gum packs there are no ways of disposing cleanly of the rubbish. I also believe that tiny, portable Gummy bins would be a good thing. As a non-chewer, it rarely affects me except for standing or sitting in someone else’s flicked gum.
(Remember, if that happens, freeze it and it will pick off easily – pop the item into a plastic back and put it in the freezer, yes even your shoes!)
Recently, though, I DID buy some gum as we were traveling and I couldn’t access my toothbrush. Apart from the mintiness, I can’t see the appeal of chewing. It is not good for human stomachs (OK for cows who need to chew their cud) and looks really awful too. But hey, that is just my perception and chewing is the underlying activity of pretty much everything done in America, even hosting or guesting on shows!
In my childhood, that was considered bad manners and people who chewed were labeled as ‘common’.
Well, how things change! Italian artist Maurizio Savini, creates amazing sculptures from regular pink chewing gum.