Chewing gum is liked by kids as well as students, youngsters, sportspersons, and many others for its refreshing taste and variety of flavors. Some people use it to help keep your teeth clean while not being able to brush them. fight drowsiness, eliminate nausea, or reduce heartburn. Others are just used to it and don’t question either why, or what these gums are made of and if they are chewing plastic.
Researchers have found that conventional chewing gum contains certain elements that are also used in the manufacturing of plastic bottles, glue, and tiers. Gums mostly contain a gum base that includes plastic-based elements, like polyisobutylene (PIB), that are also used in the manufacture of inner tubes. This material is then mixed with other food-grade plasticizers to make the gum mixture chewable.
Artificial sweeteners, flavors, and preservatives are mostly synthetic materials that have hazardous effects on health for prolonged use. Many people are not aware of the harmful effect of plastic-like components in chewing gum so it is time to highlight the importance of plastic-free chewing gums as the safety of children matters the most. Furthermore, as we know that microplastics have been discovered in food and drinks, it is important to be informed about this topic and choose plastic-free products to reduce our exposure.
The short answer is yes, gum pollution is a major issue for our ecosystem. As mentioned earlier, most gums on the market are not biodegradable, but made with synthetic materials and plasticizers, which means they do not compost in any environment but degrade over the years releasing microplastics. On top of this, chewing gum is the world’s second most common form of litter after cigarette butts, so it sticks on our streets or enters our waterways and is ingested by wildlife contributing to biodiversity loss.
The gum industry is huge, the global market volume is US $25 billion / year and it’s expected to grow to $31 billion by 2027, according to the imarc group market research report. Only two large multinationals hold 60% of the global gum market (Wikipedia). Yearly, 1.74 trillion sticks of chewing gum are produced, considering the average weight of gum is 1.5 grams, this corresponds to 2.6 million tonnes of chewing gum produced each year, mostly discarded in the environment. You can imagine the scale of the issue here. Luckily, things are changing, and innovative sustainable gum solutions are now available on the market.
A lot of research work has been going on in recent years about the possibility of some innovative formulation of chewing gums that are natural, healthy but at the same time tasty and liked by children. Many manufacturers have come up with new plastic-free chewing gums which are gradually gaining popularity among health-conscious people that do care also about the planet. We will discuss some special types of chewing gums that are good for kids and adults, and don’t contribute to harmful effects on health and the environment. We are sure you’ll find your favorite one among these plastic-free gum brands.
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Available on Amazon USA
Chewsy is the popular chewing gum in the UK as a plastic-free alternative to conventional chewing gum. It uses completely natural ingredients sourced from plants and is the best sugar-free chewing gum free from any harmful effects. The main advantages of this chewing gum are listed as follows:
True Gum is different from conventional gum because it is a plastic-free product produced in Copenhagen, Denmark. It is made with sap from gum trees with all-natural flavors and sweetness. It uses xylitol which is a plant-based sweetener and has a much less calorific value than sugar. True gum is completely plant-based and does not contain any animal-derived ingredients. The advantages of true gum over conventional gum are as follows:
British people chew 5 billion gum pieces every year, and a traditional chewing gum contains as much plastic as a drinking straw, so UK-based Nuud created a plastic-free gum that only uses the tastiest vegan ingredients, and it is made from a sustainably harvested chewy tree sap:
Available on Amazon UK.
Glee Gum is an American delicious, refreshing, natural gum that is free of artificial flavors, coloring, sweeteners, preservatives, and from synthetic plastics. About 30 years ago, a family traveled to Central America where they discovered chicle, which is a natural gum derived from the sapodilla tree in the rainforest and previously chewed by the Aztecs. It was after that trip that they launched their all-natural chewing gum version.
The potential benefits of glee gum are as follows:
Available on Amazon Australia.
Simply Gum was founded in 2014 after Caron, the founder, discovered that regular chewing gum was made of a synthetic plastic base. She started making batches of gum in her apartment using a tree sap base (also called chicle) and sold the first products in stores throughout NYC. It’s now an expanding business that is committed to good ingredients, delicious taste, and sustainable packaging.
Here are the main features of this natural, biodegradable chewing:
Honest Gum is a naturally made chewing gum using chicle, which is a sustainably harvested plant and contains natural sweetness and flavored ingredients. Honest Gum was launched in 2014 and was Australia’s first natural chewing gum made without a synthetic gum base and sugar-free. As a sustainable natural food product and award winner, it has the following benefits:
Last but not least, you can throw your Honest Gum in the compost and it will decompose in approximately 12-15 months, depending on certain environmental factors like temperature, moisture, light, etc.
This gum is a new addition to the plastic-free gum family made with natural ingredients in the UK. It has obtained recognition for sustainable food value and great taste. The advantages of this gum are mentioned as follows:
Gud Gum is India’s first plastic free chewing gum. It is an all-natural, biodegradable vegan chewing gum that is handmade in India. The flavors are addictive and the fruity ones taste like yogurt, while the one with mint and activated charcoal is meant to whiten your teeth while providing your senses a blast of freshness.
It has been observed that most chewing gum is not disposed of properly and is non-biodegradable, so removing this litter can be a costly and time-consuming process. Plastic-based products are not only harmful to the environment but may also lead to health issues in the long run.
Chewing gum is a popular product among kids and youngsters that they chew for a long time, so this should be plastic-free and natural as much as possible.
Fortunately, many manufacturers have used their knowledge, expertise, and innovative capabilities to prepare chewing gums with natural ingredients. They have been successful in removing plastic as the main ingredient and have come up with tasty chewing gum formulations that keep everyone safe and healthy.
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