Does Gum Dissolve on the Ground?

For many young people, chewing gum can be a good pastime and an effective way to freshen their breath.

But with this comes a menace we can’t ignore – old chewing gum being left on public chairs, desks, sidewalks, and even taps.

Ultimately, most chewing gum isn’t properly disposed of, making it the second most common form of litter.

Eventually, it can get on another person’s clothes, hands, shoes, or even food. So, we need to talk about what sustainable disposal methods are available for this waste.

Can it be recycled? Is it compostable?

These are all questions we’re going to answer in this post.

Is gum biodegradable?

Since chewing gum is made of synthetic plastics known as polymers, it isn’t biodegradable. However, some companies are now manufacturing biodegradable gum.

In fact, a UK supermarket called Iceland has been selling biodegradable gum for a few years now.

Is gum compostable?

Since gum doesn’t decompose or break down in the environment, it can’t be composted.

Is chewing gum recyclable?

Yes, chewing gum is recyclable. It can be recycled into any other plastic or rubber material like stationery, phone cases, and lunch boxes. However, only one company currently does this – Gumdrop.

And it only serves the UK and some other European countries.

If you currently have this service in your country, you can join Gumdrop’s membership service and get bins that you can then fill with gum and send back to them for recycling.

Does gum dissolve on the ground?

No, gum doesn’t dissolve on the ground. In fact, it can stay there for anywhere between 5 to 1,000 years.

Is gum environmentally friendly?

No, chewing gum isn’t environmentally friendly – in fact, it’s bad for the environment.

Not only is it responsible for a lot of the world’s litter, but it can also end up being ingested by aquatic life, accumulating in their bodies.

When these fish are eaten by us later on, they can even reintroduce these plastics into our bodies.

To make matters worse, even when chewing gum is thrown in the trash and ends up in landfills, it just stays there for years.

What can I do with old gum?

Apart from recycling or throwing it in the trash, there’s something else you can do with old gum – reuse it. Here are a few ways to do this:

  • Repairing your glasses: you can easily use gum to hold a loose lens in place while you wait to get your glasses professionally repaired.
  • Retrieving trinkets from the drain: if you accidentally drop something tiny down the drain, you can easily get it back by attaching some gum you just chewed to the bottom of a fishing weight and inserting it in the drain.
  • Luring crabs: any piece of gum that you’ve chewed but hasn’t lost its flavor can be used for this purpose. Just attach it to a crab line and lower it in the water – it works like a charm.

Go easy on the gum

Ultimately, the best way to reduce your gum waste is to reduce your gum intake. And if you can’t, at least use biodegradable gum instead!

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