The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish
May 16, 2012

Peppersmith Makes Chewing Gum WITH Plastic

November 2014 Update: Unfortunately, Peppersmith has decided to start adding plastic to its gum base, so I can no longer recommend it. Fortunately, there’s Simply Gum, which is still completely plastic-free. Please disregard the rest of this post. I have removed all of the links to Peppersmith except for their explanation of the change, if you want to read about it and respond.

Here’s what I originally wrote in May 2012:

Most chewing gum is made from plastic.  Don’t believe me?  Read the details in my 2010 post “Chewing on Plastic? Yum.”  Even “natural” chewing gums like Glee, which is made with natural chicle, also contain plastic.  And the few brands that seem not to contain plastic often come packaged in a plastic bottle or plastic blister pack.  Thankfully, I’m not much of a gum chewer.  But I know plenty of people who are (including the love of my life), so I was super excited to learn about Peppersmith plastic-free natural chewing gum via reader Dora who was equally excited to tell me about it.

Peppersmith Gum and Mints

Peppersmith makes both chewing gum and breath mints that come in a cardboard box without any plastic packaging.  In fact, Dan Shrimpton from Peppersmith wrote to me that the packaging is made from 100% Forest Stewardship Certified cardboard and is 100% recyclable.



The chewing gum ingredients are all natural and do not contain plastic or other synthetic chemicals:  Xylitol (a natural sweetener from beech trees), chicle gum base (sap from the Sapodilla tree), calcium carbonate (mineral extracted from limestone rock to make the gum softer), gum arabic (from the acacia tree), lemon oil, peppermint oil, rapeseed lecithin (from GMO-free European rapeseed instead of soy), carnauba wax (from the leaves of the Brazilian Wax Palm), vegetable glycerol.  All ingredients are suitable for vegans.

And even though Peppersmith gum is made from all natural ingredients, the company is still concerned about preventing chewing gum litter.  So they even include some little papers with each box for wrapping up chewed gum for proper disposal.  Each little paper has an interesting fact or cute saying.



Sounds Awesome!  Where Can I Get It?

Not so fast.  There is one catch:  Right now, the only stores that carry it are in the United Kingdom.  So for my U.K. readers, hurray for you guys!  For those of us on the other side of the pond, our only option is to order online from Peppersmith and pay for International shipping.  That’s a pretty heavy footprint for a pack of gum, no?  Do we have any North American entrepreneurs interested in distributing Peppersmith products in the U.S.?  Why not contact the company!

Compared to other brands

While I don’t chew much gum, I’d love to see Peppersmith alongside the other “natural” brands at my local Whole Foods.  Other chewing gum brands touted as natural are:

Glee Gum — which comes in a cardboard box but does contain plastic in the gum itself.

Spry Gum — which comes in a plastic bottle or a plastic blister pack.

Xylichew — which comes in a plastic bottle or a plastic blister pack.

Peelu — which contains synthetic chemicals.  According to account specialist Phillip Ellingson, the gum base “is very similar to any gum base you would find in any gum.  There are plasticizers and elasticizers, which give the gum the chewy consistency, but you do not swallow those ingredients.  The gum base specifically for our gums is not all natural, but the ingredients you ingest are. The Peelu dental gum is latex and petroleum free.”  [05/21/2012 Update: In a follow up email, Phillip confirms that the gum base does contain polyvinyl acetate.]

Chicza — is another natural gum which could be promising, however I have not seen it sold in stores in the U.S., and the website says it is only sold in the U.K.  I have reached out to the company for more information and will be sure and report back whatever I discover.  (Also, I’ll update this post if I hear back from them soon.)

Are there any brands I am missing here?

Want to Try Peppersmith Gum?

If you are a regular gum chewer in the United States, let me know and I’ll send you a box.  I have three unopened packages to give away.   If you are NOT a regular gum chewer, why not forward this post to someone who is?  Help them get the plastic out of their mouths.

Leave a Reply

50 Comments on "Peppersmith Makes Chewing Gum WITH Plastic"

In Need Of Gum
6 months 13 days ago

I would love to try this gum and saddened to know that it’s not sold in the U.S….How can I purchase it without paying an expensive international shipping fee? Please let me know!

1 year 1 month ago

Thank you for the information!  Our dentist recommended a gum with xylitol to help the kids when they are out & about and not able to brush.  She suggested just chewing for a few minutes and then spitting out.  However, all the mainstream gums and even Spry have terrible ingredients (titanium dioxide!).  I will try to get some Peppersmith!

1 year 4 months ago

I know they are pretty big in Holland as well. Go to Manufactum in Germany, they sell Peppersmith.

1 year 11 months ago

ChynaDarner This article explains what is really in your gum. the mysterious “gum base” ingredient contains plastics:

1 year 11 months ago

I am a regular gum chewer. Ive been researching chemical free gum. I came upon your post while searching for Peppersmith available in the US. I would love a pack of this gum, but what I would like more, is to know if you have located any local distributers. (i really do like to chew, so id love to by a bunch – and avoid international shipping…)

1 year 11 months ago

my email address is

2 years 2 months ago

I am a regular gum chewer and would love to try this.Paula Boubary

2 years 8 months ago

I trying to reduce plastic all around, but more concerned about the plastic in my mouth. Do the bases of Spry and Xylichew contain plastic? or is it just the wrapping. I am highly addicted to gum and need something!

2 years 8 months ago

I’m not a gum chewer, but I’m actually rather tempted to at least try these :)  Shall have look in the shops tomorrow, see if i can find them in my local stores.

Jane Velasquez
2 years 10 months ago

B-Fresh is another xylitol sweetened brand that doesn’t contain aspartame or titanium dioxide, but it comes in a plastic blister pack inside a cardboard outer sleeve. I’ve been a regular gum chewer ever since a friend suggested it for acid reflux. It works really well. I started doing a little gum research today and stumbled upon Peppersmith gum and your page. I wish I could find a source here in California. I’d love to try some, though your free boxes are likely gone by now, so I’ll check in occasionally to see any updates on Peppersmith. Thanks

2 years 10 months ago

My son has autism and his OT suggested chewing gum to keep him from putting other things in his mouth. I agreed it was a good idea in theory but didn’t really want him putting brand name gum in his mouth either.  This seems the perfect solution.  If you still have a giveaway pack I’d love to have one.  Any update on getting some in the U.S.?  Thanks

2 years 10 months ago

thank you sooo much for this info. If you have any give away packs left, I am a gum chewer. I know a lot about plastics in my life but obviously not enough, because I had NO idea gum contains plastic. YUK.

3 years 5 days ago

I go back and forth because I love gum, but I hate the ingredients and packaging. I hope someone finds a simple way to either do what Peppersmith does here or brings it here.

3 years 8 days ago

Great info. I am a chronic gum-chewer, so finding products such as this may just save my teeth ;)

3 years 8 days ago

I love chewing gum this wold be great for me!

3 years 8 days ago

I’ve been searching for natural gum.  My daughter loves to chew it.  She likes Glee and Xylichew but I would rather avoid the plastics.  I’ve already spoken to the Peppersmith people.  They are so nice.  But yeah not in the US…yet!  Though what my daughter really wants is stick gum.  Why oh why is stick gum so bleeping toxic?  They usually have 2 or 3 artificial sweeteners along with preservatives and other horrid stuff.  I don’t get it.  Why is stick gum harder to make natural than pellet gum?  What am I missing here?  I can’t find stick gum even with borderline ingredients and rotten packaging.  It’s all just awful beyond words.  If you have an extra sample, I’d love for my daughter to try it.  Just one or two pellets is fine, I don’t need a whole package.  If she really likes it, I’ll find a way to get it.  Thanks!

3 years 12 days ago

I’d love to try it if you have a sample left to send! I live in Colorado and if you email me at pap ri ka 5 7 9 at g mail (without the spaces) I can give you my mailing address! ^_^

3 years 12 days ago

Nooooo, gum tease!  Haha, I got so excited as I gave up chewing gum because of the plastic/waste, but sometimes you really just need a piece.  They should definitely share the love with the U.S.!

Melissa Brown
3 years 12 days ago

@Suzanne: check out snopes. The canola myth has been busted. Or, check out – she recently did a blog post on it (which you may trust as it is a greener site). This rapeseed is gmo free which I think is the big concern.

Melissa Brown
3 years 12 days ago

@Suzanne: check snopes regarding the safety of canola/rapeseed etc. or, wrote a post about canola. Either way I would find a source that is neutral. Like, not the canola site and not a natural site. Perhaps a scientific site. Also, keep in mind that rape has been consumed for centuries in Europe.
Btw, Rapunzle got her name because her mother craved rape plants when she was pregnant :)

My Plastic-free Life
3 years 12 days ago

Suzanne, this is rapeseed lecithin. I don’t really know how lecithin is different from the pure oil and whether it makes a difference. Here is the definition of lecithin, but I don’t have time right now to try to research it.