Recycling process turns used gum into new products
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From plastics to food waste, there is an ever-growing amount of materials that can be recycled. Now, a United Kingdom-based company, Gumdrop Ltd, has developed a new process called Gum-tec. With this new method you can recycle all types of chewing gum into new products, including wellington boots, mobile phone covers, stationary and packaging. Gumdrop claims that it currently costs around GBP 150 million a year to remove chewing gum litter from the UKs streets. The company hopes to reduce this by offering people a better way to dispose of their gum than throwing it on the ground.
Gumdrop uses a closed-loop recycling model. The company manufactures the Gumdrop, and Gumdrop on-the-go – round, pink receptacles for disposing of gum. The gumdrop bin can be wall or post mounted, while the gumdrop on the go is a personal waste receptacle that fits on a keychain. Chewers place their used gum into the plastic bubbles when they are done chewing. Once full, the bins, along with their contents of waste gum, are recycled and processed to manufacture new Gumdrops, and the cycle starts again. Organizations, businesses and towns that want to use the system are charged a yearly fee which includes pick-up of the full bins.
Gumdrop also works with companies to produce items to order made out of the recycled gum. Some products already available on their website include pencils, Frisbees and boomerangs, sports cones, and lunch boxes. All products can be branded with a company logo and manufactured in almost any color except for transparent. The company also provides educational materials and tools to help customers have a successful launch of the system. At Springwise, we have already seen a host of innovations for turning waste items into useful new objects, from sports equipment to luxury paper. What other uses could there be for recycled gum?
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