Chewing Gum Cleaning Facts

Around the world, figures show that 80–90% of chewing gum is not disposed of properly. This is worrying given that it takes chewing gum about 500 years to completely decompose.

It might be Hollywood to blame in thinking that the United States is the chief culprit for chewing gum. However, the highest consumption of chewing gum is in the Middle East, specifically Iran, where 82% of the population has a habit of chewing gum. The next closest country is Saudi Arabia at 79%, hike only 59% of Americans are responsible for its consumption.

Great Britain is almost on par with South Africa at 44%, well countries like Malaysia and Thailand have a modest consumption of 16% and 18% respectively.

How are Councils Tackling the Gum Problem?

Different British councils are taking different approaches. Fleetwood Town Council in Lancashire has plans to purchase 5,000 mini-bins to help tackle both the littering of chewing gum and cigarette butts.


Wilmslow Town Council, just outside Manchester, is taking a different approach. It has teamed up with a pioneering company, Gumdrop, to fight the battle of of chewing gum on pavements. Pink balls are located around the town centre so that passersby can simply drop their chewing into purpose-built balls, which in turn are recycled in total to produce further Gumdrop points. This innovative solution allows a full circle of recycling rather than the gum simply ending up in landfills, where it can take up to 500 years to fully decompose.

The outright ban on chewing gum

Further abroad, some governments have taken more drastic measures. Chewing gum is banned in Singapore, and anyone caught chewing it in public can be charged as much as $700 (around £540). The ban has been around since 1992. The focus is more on the importing of chewing gum (which is illegal) rather than the consumption of it. In 2004 and exception was made for therapeutic, dental or nicotine chewing gum which can be bought from a doctor or pharmacist.

Which Countries Chew The Most Gum?

Around the world, figures show that 80–90% of chewing gum is not disposed of properly. This is worrying given that it takes chewing gum about 500 years to completely decompose.

It might be Hollywood to blame in thinking that the United States is the chief culprit for chewing gum. However, the highest consumption of chewing gum is in the Middle East, specifically Iran, where 82% of the population has a habit of chewing gum. The next closest country is Saudi Arabia at 79%, hike only 59% of Americans are responsible for its consumption.

Great Britain is almost on par with South Africa at 44%, well countries like Malaysia and Thailand have a modest consumption of 16% and 18% respectively.

  1. Iran, 82%
  2. Saudi Arabia, 79%
  3. The United States, 59%
  4. Spain, 54%
  5. France, 52%
  6. Poland, 50%
  7. Great Britain, 44%
  8. South Africa, 43%
  9. Hungary, 49%
  10. Malaysia, 18%
  11. Thailand, 16%

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