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Chewing Gum Waste


Save Your Sole - or you could be fined up to £100 if you do not Bin Your Gum!

Chewing gum is a very difficult type of litter to deal with, because it is so sticky and is very difficult to clean.

Normal cleaning methods like street sweeping and litter picking do not work, we have to resort to more extreme methods like jet washing to remove it.

This can cost a lot of money - Keep Britain Tidy reports that it can cost up to £1.50 per square meter to clean up chewing gum. This is money that could be spent on key front line services.

  • Discarded chewing gum is a major, and growing, problem, especially in town centre areas.
  • Blobs of gum on the street can make an area look dirty, even when it’s clean.

Chewing Gum Facts

  • On average, a piece of chewing gum costs about 3 pence, but the cost of removal is about 10 pence per piece.
  • Chewing gum takes up to 5 years to biodegrade.
  • Some countries are considering putting a tax on gum to help pay for the clean-up costs
  • In Singapore, chewing gum is banned unless you have a prescription from your doctor or dentist.
  • 80-90% of chewing gum is not disposed of in any litter receptacle.
  • Modern day based chewing gum was an accidental invention. Thomas Adams, a New York inventor, was trying to make a material for car tyres. Today’s gum is made from the similar synthetic rubbers – hence it’s non-biodegradable.
  • In April 2006, discarded chewing gum was defined as litter for the first time under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act. Gum droppers can be subjected to an on-the-spot fine of up to £100.

The removal of chewing gum is a time-consuming and costly exercise.

If you chew gum, please ensure that you put it in a bin. If there is no bin available, wrap it in a piece of paper and wait until you do find a bin.