3 in 4 People Are Unaware There is Plastic in Chewing Gum: Did You Know?

 Most People Don’t Know What They’re Putting In Their Mouth

We surveyed more than 2,000 Brits and found that 32% of people believe chewing gum is made of just animal products, 24% said just rubber, and 17% believe chicle is the main ingredient but, in fact most modern gums are based on a rubbery material called polyisobutylene that's also used in the manufacture of inner tubes. Polyisobutylene is mixed with plasticisers and materials – making the gum mixture chewable.

Even more confusingly, this rubbery mixture is listed as ‘gum base’ on mainstream gum ingredients, so it’s hard for consumers to know what they’re chewing. 

98% of chewing gum is made from plastic, creating 100,000 tonnes of plastic pollution each year, according to Just One Ocean.

Not only is it destroying the planet, but it’s costing councils around £60m per year to keep our streets clear of chewing gum.

And, it seems, knowledge of these ingredients varies. People in Wales were the most aware, with a third of respondents knowing chewing gum contained plastic, but just 1 in 6 in the North East knew what they were chewing.

Despite 95% of people claiming to recycle and most knowing regular chewing gum does not degrade easily, 1 in 6 admitted to disposing of chewing gum on a surface and the same number had dropped it on the pavement.

What’s more, 25% of respondents said that they have used chewing gum instead of brushing their teeth, and 2 in 5 have swallowed gum before.

But When Aware, They’re Keen to Make a Switch

We’re hoping to revolutionise the market and care for the planet by providing biodegradable, vegan and naturally flavoured alternatives to familiar favourites.

And consumer feedback seems to encourage this move. 82% of people said they are more likely or much more likely to buy a food product if it is sustainable and environmentally friendly, and 65% of respondents said they’d be willing to spend more money for these qualities.

Emily Howarth, Founder at Nopla, says:

“Most chewing gum is made with plastic. Ours is different – in fact, our name, Nopla, stands for ‘no plastic’. Our gum is entirely plastic-free, meaning it’s biodegradable, kinder to the environment and better for your health. Best of all, Nopla doesn’t compromise on taste. 

“Discarded chewing gum is the second-largest litter source in the world. Swapping to a biodegradable, plastic-free alternative like Nopla makes a big difference to global plastic waste. That’s why we say Nopla is a small bite with a big difference.” 

 Although, Gum Isn’t the Only Everyday Object That Contains Plastic

Despite regular encouragement to swap our takeaway cups for reusable coffee mugs, our research found that 1 in 4 people in the UK that believe takeaway coffee cups are plastic free, and therefore harmless to the environment.

Here are some other everyday items, along with the percentage of Brits that think they are plastic free:

  • Takeaway coffee cups – 76%
  • Glitter – 57%
  • Baby wipes – 50%
  • Wrapping paper – 50%
  • Tampons – 48%
  • Tea bags – 37%
  • Sun creams – 29%
  • Chewing gum – 25%
  • Till receipts – 21%

Are You Ready to Make a Change?

Doing your bit for the environment doesn’t have to be laborious; making small changes like switching to plastic-free alternatives can make a big difference. Plus, we’ll never compromise on flavour! So, why not read more about Nopla gum and try it for yourself?