Used chewing gum being left on streets is a common problem, and an expensive one to clear up, but one company has developed a solution – recycling.
There are an estimated 374 billion sticks of chewing gum sold worldwide every year, according to a study from the University of Zürich, most of which ends up as either landfill waste or dropped as litter on to floors and pavements, costing huge amounts of time and money to clean.
But U.K.-based company Gumdrop, which was founded in 2009, has developed a way to recycle chewing gum into a mouldable plastic, allowing gum to be recycled into new products such as coffee cups, lunchboxes and guitar picks.
Gumdrop's main product is a round, bright pink bin which collects used chewing gum. Once it's full, the whole bin can be recycled to make several more bins or other plastic products, creating a "closed loop" recycling process.
"The whole ethos of our company is anything we do is always closed loop, so whether we make a Gumdrop bin or an americano (coffee)mug, or a ruler we have to know that if that comes back to us we can recycle it and make it into something else," explained Anna Bullus, the company's founder, to CNBC in a phone interview.