Iceland launches plastic-free biodegradable chewing gum

Written by: Jo Gallacher | Published:
Iceland founder and executive chairman Sir Malcolm Walker

Iceland has begun selling plastic-free biodegradable chewing gum in its supermarkets.

Simply Gum is made from a tree sap called chicle which is extracted from a tree native to Central America.

It is being pitched as an alternative to traditional chewing gum which is primarily made of ‘gum base’, a non-biodegradable substance with synthetic polymers, plasticizers, softeners and emulsifiers.

Keep Britain Tidy estimates that 95% of Britain’s streets are now stained with chewing gum, with local councils estimated to spend around £60m each year cleaning it up.

Iceland’s decision to stock the new gum is part of its commitment to go plastic-free in its own label food packaging by 2023.

Around 85% of the public were unaware plastic is found in chewing gum, according to Iceland research with food psychologist Christy Fergusson.

The survey of 2,000 UK adults also found 85% of participants think brands have a responsibility to make it clearer what ingredients their products contain.

Iceland founder and executive chairman, Sir Malcolm Walker, said: “I absolutely detest the mess that discarded plastic chewing gum creates on our streets, and the fortune that is wasted by councils trying to clear it up.”

Simply Gum is available nationwide and costs £2 for a pack of 15, in Mint, Maple and Ginger flavours.

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