10 years ago, British designer Anna Bullus began a project on what could be done about the litter found everywhere on the streets. Out of the scraps of paper, and empty food containers, one thing that stuck out to her was that nothing was being done to recycle the chewed gum that littered every corner of her city. This finding led her to research the chemistry of the gum, and try to come up with her own solution.
First thing was first, how would she collect the chewed gum?
Enter the bins shaped like pink bubble gum, she named Gumdrop. The bins were placed around The University of Winchester.
The gum collected was recycled and used to make pink coffee cups.
Within 18 months, the campus noticed a drop in chewing gum litter, and the project began to grow. The next testing zone was Heathrow Airport, which quickly saw a cut in maintenance costs.
Bullus had a difficult time finding willing participants to get her vision off the ground, but, eventually she got in touch with a recycling plant who took the challenge head on.
A mixture containing recycled plastic and about 20% of the recycled gum is created, heated to a high temperature before being pushed through an injection machine, and later molded to the finish product.
This ingenious idea proves that, even something as small as chewed up bubblegum on the side of the street, can lead to lessening the negative impacts of at least one city's litter problem.Continue reading