Gumdrop Ltd.: From Garbage to Great Products
A problem that many cities have is keeping their streets clean from garbage. One of the most common pieces of trash that are chewing gum. For most of us, gum is just garbage we overlook that occasionally sticks to our shoes. Yet what if instead of sticking to our shoes, it could be used to make shoes and other everyday objects? That idea may sound crazy, but British company, Gumdrop Ltd. has found a way to recycle discarded gum in order to clean up streets and help the environment.
Why did it Start?
Gumdrop Ltd. was created by Londoner, Anna Bullus in 2009 to keep old gum off of London’s streets. While gum may seem like any other trash, it causes more problems than we think. For many cities, cleaning gum isn’t cheap. On average, gum removal costs the city of London over 150 million pounds (210 million USD) annually. In addition to its pricey cleanup, many gum bases are manufactured with synthetic rubbers and plastics. This makes most gum non-biodegradable. Upon discovering that gum is usually made of these materials, Bullus found a way to recycle gum for more practical use.
How it works
Gumdrop Ltd. has a member system where people are sent to special disposal containers that can be mounted in almost any public place. Once the container gets full, the used gum is turned into Gum-tec. This is a plastic compound that makes more disposal containers and a line of products made by Gumdrop Ltd.
Some of the Gum-tec’s products include combs, coffee cups, rulers, and pencils. They have even launched a small collection of rainboots for children and adults. More recently, Gum-tec compounds are being used to make shoe soles, which truly gives new meaning to the phrase, “Gum under your shoe.” With so many products being made, this could not only change the way products are manufactured, but it could expand across the world to keep city streets cleaner and change the way we throw away gum.
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