How Anna Bullus is turning chewing gum waste into a sustainable resource

How Anna Bullus is turning chewing gum waste into a sustainable resource

Chewing gum is one of the most common types of litter in the world, costing millions of dollars to clean up every year. But what if we could turn this sticky problem into a solution? That’s the idea behind Gumdrop, a company founded by British designer Anna Bullus, who recycles chewing gum waste into useful objects.

Unveiling the Potential of Chewing Gum Waste

Anna Bullus was inspired to tackle the issue of gum litter when she was studying design at university. She discovered that the main ingredient of chewing gum, the gum base, is a synthetic rubber that can be recycled like plastic. 

She experimented with different ways of processing the gum and developed a material called Gum-tec, which can be used for various rubber and plastic applications.

Innovation Unleashed: From Gum Waste to Gum-tec

To collect the gum, Anna designed bright pink, bubble-shaped bins that are themselves made of recycled gum. The bins are placed in public places where people can dispose of their gum responsibly. The gum is then collected and transformed into Gum-tec, which is used to make products such as coffee cups, boots, guitar picks, and even more bins.

Anna’s innovative approach has not only reduced the environmental impact of chewing gum, but also raised awareness about the importance of recycling. She has partnered with several organisations, such as universities, airports, and local councils, to install her bins and distribute her products. She has also won several awards and recognition for her work, such as the Design Museum’s Design of the Year and the British Female Inventor of the Year.

Anna Bullus is a shining example of how design can be used to create positive change in the world. By turning chewing gum into a sustainable resource, she has shown that nothing is impossible with a bit of creativity and determination.