World’s first biodegradable chewing gum goes on sale

March 30th, 2009 - 8:17 pm ICT by ANI  

London, March 30 (ANI): The world’s first biodegradable chewing gum, which is completely environment friendly, has been introduced in supermarkets all over Britain.

According to a report in The Guardian, Chicza Rainforest Gum, as it is called, is manufactured in Mexico by Consorcio Chiclero, which is a consortium of 56 co-operatives employing some 2,000 chicleros (gum farmers) and their families.

The workers extract natural gum from the sap of the chicle tree, which is then used to make the product.

Unlike conventional chewing gum, which contains petrochemicals, the organic chewing gum does not stick to clothing or pavements.

Once disposed of, it will crumble to dust in about six weeks, dissolving harmlessly in water or being absorbed into the soil.

Chicza comes in lime, mint and spearmint flavours, and is going on sale at 1.39 pounds a packet.

It is costly and difficult to remove conventional chewing gum from public places because of its chemical content, with cleaning typically costing between 10p and 30p per piece.

It takes 17 weeks for chewing gum to be removed from the entire length of Oxford Street in London, for example, but only 10 days for it to be littered with gum again.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has calculated that local authorities spend up to 200,000 pounds a year each on clearing gum.

Westminster city council in London, which has one of the highest clean-up bills, is backing the new product.

A spokesman for Encams, which runs the ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ campaign, said, “While we welcome any product that could potentially alleviate the worst problems of staining, the real solution remains for people to put gum in the bin or - if there isn’t one around - in a piece of paper or tissue until they find one.” (ANI)

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