There is an alley in downtown San Luis Obispo, CA, called “Bubblegum Alley.” The walls of the alley are covered with discarded chewing gum. It’s one of those odd places that you could live a full and happy life without ever seeing, but if you ever find yourself in downtown San Luis Obispo and you have the slightest bit of time to waste, it’s a place you should visit. If the chances are slim, here is a video:
Some people find the alley fascinating and fun. My general feeling is that it’s disgusting. Now, I would never support the idea of getting rid of Bubblegum Alley, but I recently discovered that we could be recycling and reusing our discarded, chewed up gum.
In case you didn’t know, the main ingredient in gum is polyisobutylene. It’s a synthetic rubber, similar to plastic derived from petrochemicals, which are refined from crude oil.
According to an article posted by BBC News, a British designer, Anna Bullus, is trying to collect discarded chewing gum and recycle it into new products such as soles for shoes, coffee cups, and rain boots. She has even made plastic bins out of used chewing gum to collect used chewing gum.
Check out the video and article here.