On average, every German consumes 100 pieces of chewing gum per year, resulting in a total of 8 billion. According to media reports, there are around 80 chewing gum leftovers stuck to every square meter of German streets, each costing between €1 - €3 to remove.
The "gum base", the main ingredient of chewing gum, is mainly made out of petroleum-based plastic. This is why chewing gum, like other plastic products, is barely biodegradable.
The habit of simply disposing chewing gum on the street is therefore problematic and a waste of resources that is both harmful to the environment and expensive.
For this reason, chewing gum is celebrated in my work "Gum" as a valuable raw material that can be used to create new objects. First, the ingredients of the chewing gum were analyzed using FTIR spectroscopy. Then, plastic recyclate was produced from the high-quality materials of the chewing gum industry and further processed by modification and extrusion.