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, and Glee Gum, which has recently reformulated its gum base to be plastic-free. I am leaving this post up for historical archive purposes (with verbs changed to past tense so Google doesn’t get confused), but 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.”  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 made both chewing gum and breath mints that came in a cardboard box without any plastic packaging.  In fact, Dan Shrimpton from Peppersmith wrote to me that the packaging was made from 100% Forest Stewardship Certified cardboard and was 100% recyclable.



The chewing gum ingredients were all natural and did 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 were suitable for vegans.

And even though Peppersmith gum was made from all natural ingredients, the company was still concerned about preventing chewing gum litter.  So they even included some little papers with each box for wrapping up chewed gum for proper disposal.  Each little paper had 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!

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I think Peppersmith has made a huge mistake with this. But that being said (written) Peppersmith doesn’t contain plastic, nor do other gums. They contain petrochemicals. Petrochemicals are used in the making of some plastics but are not necessarily plastics themselves. PVAC is usually in gum base and could be considered a plastic I guess. But it’s an important distinction. Petrochemicals are far worse in my opinion than plastics.

In Need Of Gum

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!


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!


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


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


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…)


my email address is


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


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!

Nothing But The Tooth

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

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


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


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.


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.


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


I love chewing gum this wold be great for me!


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… Read more »


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! ^_^


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

@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 :)

Melissa Brown

@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.

Beth Terry

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.


Thank you so much for sharing this info Beth. I’ve been looking for gum without plastic and without titanium dioxide. Finally, a brand that get’s it.

Suzanne Meyer

Beth – I have been looking into canola oil/benefits- “non benefits” from the comment of Barbara Torrey Centofante – do you have any advice on wether canola is harmful or not, I have found some websites/blogs saying stay away from it, it is really not good for one to eat, there is one website that claims it was banned by the FDA for human consumption and then the Canadian Gov paid 50 million to have it approved w/o going through the regular channels of approval – sorry can’t find the link for that info

Stephanie Smoluk

it would take miracle.


Sounds like a great product, and vegan too! I’d love to try a pack!


Gorgeous packaging, too! Alas, I’m allergic to peppermint. Guess I’ll just keep chewing on my fingernails. ;)

Beth Terry

@Kristy are you allergic to spearmint? There is also a spearmint version without peppermint.


I got so excited till I read it’s only available in the UK. Dangnabit, UK has everything aweome.

Char Grainger

I’ll have to order some for my friend in the UK, and she can bring it back to Australia with her at xmas.

Char Grainger

or hemp seed oil :)

My Plastic-free Life

Ferris Duvall, nevermind what?


My daughter and I are both avid gum chewers and would love to try this gum. Right now, we usually chew Xylicious gum.


I go through so much gum, I didn’t know until I came across your blog last week that most gum has plastic IN it! Eek! I’d love to give this a try!!


A friend of mine with multiple allergies has been searching for this gum in the US — now I know why she hasn’t been able to find it! I had checked with a local British food importer, as well as at 2 health food stores….I hope your post will encourage US retailers to carry this product!

Ferris Duvall

Oops nevermind.

Living Zero Waste

Yes please!

Barbara Torrey Centofante

Not so excited about the rapeseed which is also called canola oil… even if it is GMO free. Maybe they could make it from coconut oil ! Then I would buy it in a nanosecond !!!


I would love a pack of the gum!


If you still have a pack I would love to have my husband try one!


What about Eco-Dent Between!?

Beth Terry

Hi. From the website, it looks like Eco-Dent Between comes in a plastic blister pack inside the cardboard box. I just emailed the company to find out what the gum base is made from.


LOVE Peppersmith! Their lemon mints are the best; just bought a box today :)Everyone should follow them on Facebook, as they often post cute and quirky updates.


I used to be a big gum chewer, but gave it up a few years back because I was trying to cut out artificial sweeteners. These days I can’t imagine how I ever stomached the stuff… it sort of tastes like toxic soup to me now. BUT… the real reason for my comment is a public service announcement for any dog lovers out there. Xylitol, which is an ingredient in virtually all sugar free gums (and many other sugar free products) is EXTREMELY toxic to dogs.Their bodies can’t metabolize it correctly and it causes them to dump insulin, triggering the… Read more »


I did not know that! Thanks!


Very interesting. I stopped chewing gum when I read a previous post about it containing plastic, but I do miss it…for some reason, chewing gum helped me stay focused (aka awake) during class. Haha. I would love to try some.


I’ve been looking for something like this! I’d love some! Wish they would have it here in the U.S.


I always choose old-school Trident because it has the least plastic packaging but it would be great to get the best of both worlds, no plastic on the outside and no plastic on the inside.


I’m not personally a big gum chewer, but my son uses chewing gum to help with his oral sensory issues. I would love to try a plastic free gum with him. Thank you for finding one!

Mary Katherine

This is so exciting! I’m going to get some.


Hey, This post is great… I have been looking for a natural gum and right now am settling for spry or glee… would love to see this in the US… would love to try some.. Jamie