85% of chewing gum is not disposed of properly and it’s the second most common form of litter after cigarette butts. Chewing gum is made from polymers which are synthetic plastics that do not biodegrade. When you throw your gum in the trash, it will live in the landfills for thousands of years without breaking down. When you litter your gum, it has the risk of harming animals. Littered gum is consumed by birds, fish or other animals and once inside an animal's body, the gum consumes and creates toxins which then cycle back into our own food chain.
Also, have you ever read about the ingredients in your gum? Butyl rubber, polyisobutylene, vinyl acetate, butylated hydroxyanisol, aspartame, acesulfame K just to name a few possible ingredients. I don't know about you, but all of those sound complicated and not something I want to put in my body. Many of those ingredients are linked to harmful side effects and have been listed as possible carcinogens when consumed frequently.
So what can we do? Choose mints over chewing gum! Most people chew gum to freshen breath or stay alert. Mints can provide the same affects as chewing gum without creating the environmental waste. If you have to chew gum, then choose natural gums that are biodegradable (they exist!). When you are finished chewing gum, always throw it away properly in a trash can.
#GoWilde and switch to mints!