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Fife council is backing a campaign that aims to encourage people to think before they discard litter or chewing gum in the street.
The ‘Bin it Your Way’ campaign is a Chewing Gum Action Group annual campaign that is being run across 80 local authorities.
It has been launched in Fife by a local councillor and a team of community safety officers at a shopping centre in Kirkcaldy. The councillor said that the council’s street cleaning teams do a difficult job which is being made more difficult by a handful of irresponsible people who drop litter.
Information on the campaign has been given to local schools, libraries, and leisure centres, and community wardens have been handing out paper wrappers to encourage people to wrap their chewing gum before they bin it.
Who are the Chewing Gum Action Group?
They’re an organisation that helps local authorities to plan, launch, and monitor litter campaigns in communities. They provide bin stickers, lamp post banners, posters, and other campaign materials to help spread the word.
Why is it so important to bin gum, anyway?
Chewing gum might be great for your teeth, but it’s bad news for the environment. This is because it’s made from ingredients like synthetic rubber and polyvinyl acetate (a polymer used in glue), which makes it really hard to break down.
So once it’s dropped on the street, it’s going nowhere, until the local council comes along and clears it up. Cleaning up chewing gum litter costs local authorities around £150 million per year; money which could be far better spent.
But it’s not all bad news.
A British designer has set up the world’s first ever chewing gum recycling company. Gum Drop was founded by Anna Bullus, and is backed by the chewing gum giant Wrigley, and it turns chewing gum into pencils, shoe soles, and coffee cups.
The recycling company Terracycle has also started chewing gum recycling projects across the US and Mexico, and hopes to bring them to the UK soon. The company said that it cleans and blends the gum with other plastics and rubbers, then it is used to make items like door stops and rubber flooring.
Is there an alternative to chewing gum?
If you’re concerned about the effects of your gum habit on the environment, why not try Chicza’s organic rainforest chewing gum? It’s completely biodegradable and is made from elastic rubber and sap taken from the chicle tree which is found in the Mayan rainforest.