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Mike Clarke
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New Bins Aim to Turn Tide on Town Centre Gum Drop Menace

By Published March 30, 2021

WHAT costs a mere 3p to buy, but a whopping £1.50 to get rid of?

Chewing gum is an unsightly menace that plagues roads and pavements up and down the land.

UK consumers get through up to four million pieces of gum every year, and it's a problem that lands UK councils with an eye-watering annual clean-up bill of around £60 million.

There are estimated to be thousands of discarded pieces of gum in the pedestrianised area of Middlesbrough town centre alone, with removal requiring the hire of costly specialist equipment.

Now a new campaign is under way to encourage chewers to dispose of their little balls of sticky nastiness in a responsible and public-spirited way - and turn the discarded goo into something useful.

Visitors to central Middlesbrough will spot 20 bright pink Gumdrop bins at key locations as part of a trial to help clear up the streets.

But they're no ordinary bins - Gumdrop is the first company in the world to recycle and process chewing gum into a range of new compounds that can be used in the rubber and plastics industry.

Using the company's unique Gum-tec® process, unwanted gum is transformed into new Gumdrop bins and other reusable products such as coffee mugs, rulers, mobile phone cases, coat hangers, buckets, picnic cutlery and drinking straws.

Gumdrop on-the-go keyrings are also available free from Middlesbrough community hubs and libraries - once full they can be placed into the Gumdrop bins for onward recycling.

Councillor Dennis McCabe, Middlesbrough Council's Executive member for Environment, said: "Don't chuck it, bin it - it really is that simple.

"Discarded gum is an anti-social eyesore that costs a small fortune to clean, and chucking it in the street is just as unacceptable as spitting or dropping a cigarette butt.

"These Gumdrop bins could change all that - not only are you avoiding the risk of an £80 fixed penalty notice, but your discarded gum will go on to do something useful rather than getting stuck to roads, pavements and shoes."


For information on local help and support, visit www.middlesbrough.gov.uk/helpboro

For advice for clinically extremely vulnerable residents call Middlesbrough Council's support line on 01642 729777

The latest advice from Government and Public Health England can be found at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus  

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