Recycled chewing gum turned into drinkware

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British designer, Anna Bullas has found a novel way to help the environment and eliminate waste while creating eco-friendly drinkware at the same time.

The designer began looking at ways to re-use the litter that seemed to be in plentiful supply on the UK’s streets, in particular chewing gum. Speaking to the BBC Anna said:

“One of the litters I found was a piece of chewing gum, and as a designer, I was completely amazed there was nothing actually being done to recycle it.”

Researching the ingredients in chewing, the designer discovered that one of the main ingredients contained a synthetic rubber similar to polyisobutylene. This type of plastic is used in many items, for example bicycle inner tubes.

To collect chewing gum for her project, Anna created some special pink waste bins shaped like a bubble, calling them the Gumdrop Bins. They have been placed around high-traffic areas, such as railway stations and the University of Winchester campus.

After the gum has been collected, it is mixed with a selection of recycled polymers by a recycling plant, and is then remoulded into drinkware. Each piece of drinkware contains around 42 pieces of gum. The project has helped eliminate a good deal of street litter in the areas where the Gumdrop Bins are located, with the university claiming to have saved around £6,000 in cleaning costs.

It may be a while before bespoke engraved flutes made from recycled chewing gum grace the nation’s tables, however the idea is a great way to alleviate some of the current litter problems.

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