UK company invents chewing gum that can be washed off with water.
Pioneering Flintshire-based company Revolymer has come up with a gum which can be removed from the streets using only water. Anyone who has trodden in chewing gum, and parents in particular, will be delighted to know it can also be removed from shoes, clothes and hair with soap and water.
Some 9,000 tonnes of chewing gum is disposed of in Britain each year, with up to 80pc of that ending up littering the streets. Normal chewing gum is made with a kind of synthetic latex which is extremely adhesive and takes a long time to break down. Revolymer says its product adds a new polymer to the mix which makes it far easier to remove and quicker to degrade. The product has “the same chewing texture and flavour release as standard gum,” said Roger Pettman, Revolymer’s chief executive. “You wouldn’t know the difference.”
Revolymer’s gum has now been approved by US food safety authorities and is going though the final stages of approval in Europe. Mr Pettman plans to have a removable gum on the shelves in the US later this year, either by selling the product under licence to one of the big names such as Wrigley or Cadbury, or by selling its own brand. The company hopes to have a product on sale in Europe in 2011.
Boris Johnson, London mayor, said chewing gum “casts an unsightly stain on our beautiful city” at a meeting with litter campaigners and gum-makers on Friday.
Revolymer has been working on the product for four years, at a cost of £10m. The company grew out of research carried out at Bristol University and is backed by venture capital and private equity money.