I first wrote about plastic in chewing gum in January of 2010. At that time, there really was no brand of gum available that didn’t either contain plastic in the packaging or in the gum itself. And as I wrote back then, even Glee Gum, one of the most natural brands in town, was combining plastic with the natural chicle in its gum base.
Company owner Deborah Schimberg told me that she really wanted to get the plastic out of the gum base, but that it was difficult to find a natural substitute. She hoped to find an alternative later that year. Well, it’s taken longer than she expected, but finally, in 2015, Glee was able to offer plastic-free chewing gum in its original sugar-sweetened flavors and more recently in its sugar-free flavors as well. The company sent me a few packs to try out, and while I’m not much of a gum chewer, Michael thinks it’s great!
Challenges of Developing a Plastic-Free Chewing Gum Base
I asked Deborah about… Read the rest
2016 Update: Sadly, it looks like Green Tree Gum has gone out of business. This post remains active for archive purposes only. I have removed links to the company’s website, as they no longer work.
I don’t chew gum, but Michael does, as did legendary test pilot Chuck Yeager (maybe he still does.) But if you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know that most chewing gum (even “natural” Glee Gum) either contains plastic as an ingredient in the gum base or is packaged in plastic.
For a while, English company Peppersmith offered a plastic-free gum in plastic-free packaging. Sadly, the company switched to a synthetic gum base last year, much to the dismay of many of its loyal customers, if the comments in this post are any indication.
Simply Gum came along with all natural gum in plastic-free packaging. But many people are concerned that the sweetener used is cane sugar, which is bad for dental hygiene.… Read the rest
Almost all chewing gum is made with plastic, plastic which hides in a secret ingredient called “gum base.” The few gums that don’t contain plastic as an ingredient come in plastic packaging. Finally, there’s a U.S. company — Simply Gum — offering a completely natural, GMO-free chewing gum made with organic ingredients and without any plastic gum base or plastic packaging.
Simply Gum is made from only 6 ingredients: organic raw cane sugar, all natural chicle (rubber from a tree), cinnamon, organic vegetable glycerin, organic sunflower lecithin, and organic rice flour.… Read the rest
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… Read the rest
I’m not a big gum chewer. I can keep a stick of gum in my mouth for about five minutes, just enough time to suck all the flavor out, before I’m tired of chewing and starting to get that chewing gum headache.
So it was no hardship to let go of chewing gum when I gave up products in plastic packaging.
Still, if someone offered me a piece of gum, I might have accepted the random chew here and there. Yeah, I knew it contained artificial flavors and wasn’t good for me. And I always felt guilty if it came in one of these:
But after reading some information that reader Eleanor Sommer forwarded me yesterday, I won’t be putting any of that stuff in my mouth anymore.
Gum is made from plastic.
… Read the rest