25-Year-Old Anna Bullus Invents Gumdrop Bins to Recycle Chewing Gum

Anna Bullus, a 25-year-old designer from England, has invented Gumdrop bins made from recycled gum to collect used chewing gum.

How many times have you gone outside only to get your foot stuck in a wad of chewing gum on the sidewalk, or discovered a hunk of Bubbalicious wadded beneath a table or desk? As far as environmental pollution goes, chewing gum is far from our largest problem—but, for the average pedestrian, it could well be among the most annoying.

Chewing gum causes plenty of messes for local governments, too. When gum-chewers leave their used gum on sidewalks, it’s up to cities to pay for clean-up efforts: in the United Kingdom, it costs approximately 150 million pounds (231.735 million US dollars) every year to cover the costs of removing the sticky stuff from public walkways and utilities.

But 25-year-old Anna Bullus has come up with a solution that could turn those omnipresent wads of bright pink gum a lovely shade of green. She spent eight months collecting old gum and working with it in a lab, eventually creating a pellet from the material, which she mixed with other ingredients to create the Bullus Recycled Gum Polymer (BRGP).

“Yes, everyone thought I was mad and a little bit disgusting,” she told The Guardian.

But Bullus’ dedication has paid off: she’s used the BRGP to create pink bubble-shaped bins which can be used to collect used pieces of gum. She’s set up her “bubble bins” around Orpington College as a trial, but hopes to roll them out in more locations before long. Once the bins are full, both the bins and the gum inside them will be recycled to produce more BRGP—at which point, the possibilities are almost endless.

“The amazing thing is you can use it for any plastic product,” Bullus said. “I’d love to do some Wellington boots, for example. Gum boots, in fact.”

For more information, check out Gumdropbin.com.

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