Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Do I have to?

I was reading an article on using less plastic for the environment when I saw, "Stop chewing gum." What? I've been a gum chewer all my life--eases stress, tastes good, keeps the mouth fresh, and of course, looks awful to anyone watching. But plastic? Yes. I looked it up.

“On the Wrigley’s website page entitled ‘What Gum is Made Of’ the section about the gum base, the main ingredient, states, ‘Gum base puts the “chew” in chewing gum, binding all the ingredients together for a smooth, soft texture. The Wrigley Company uses synthetic gum base materials for a consistent and safe base that provides longer-lasting flavor, improved texture and reduced tackiness.’  It almost sounds natural and rather yummy.  I suspect if they wrote, ‘The Wrigley Company uses butadiene-based synthetic rubbers, polymers synthesised from petroleum by products, similar to those used in car tyres,’ that might not be so appealing.” http://justoneocean.org/chewing-gum

“After World War II, chemists learned to make synthetic rubber, which eventually replaced most natural rubber as a chewing gum base. Today the ubiquitous ingredient 'gum base' is label shorthand for an alphabet soup of potentially toxic ingredients.

Because of the vagaries of chewing gum ingredient labels most of us continue to chew in ignorance - and in vast numbers. Americans consume 40 percent of the world's gum. Across Britain, France, Germany, and Spain for instance almost 50 per cent of adults aged 15 and above use chewing gum. In Britain we spend around £325m a year the on the stuff. Globally just two companies - Wrigley and Cadbury - control 60 per cent of the chewing gum market which is estimated to be worth upwards of £10 billion a year.” https://theecologist.org/2010/jan/12/behind-label-chewing-gum

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