Tackling Chewing Gum Removal In Public Places

The global chewing gum industry is a lucrative one – estimated to be worth a staggering $19 billion. On London’s Oxford Street alone there is estimated to be up to 300,000 pieces of discarded chewing gum on the pavement at any one time. Chewing gum takes up to five years to biodegrade and may take many months for local authorities to remove – making this problem an economic drain for councils and businesses, in addition to an environmental concern.

It is therefore no surprise that 96 per cent of local authorities in the UK say they have a significant and costly problem on their hands, with discarded chewing gum creating an eye sore on streets and pavements. 

If this sticky issue is a problem for your business or local area then it is worth remembering that education on the consequences of chewing gum damage could play a pivotal in the battle to tackle this problem.

It has been documented that people who wouldn’t litter, will drop chewing gum.  A Chewing Gum Action Group was created to unite manufacturers, Government and Keep Britain Tidy (a charity aiming to eliminate litter and waste) to ensure chewing gum lovers dispose of the product correctly. According to the group’s results, gum litter has reduced by an average of 42 per cent, with one community declaring an encouraging 67 per cent reduction. What’s more, the current fine of up to £80 is likely help stomp down on the issue.

Approximately 3.5 billion pieces of chewing gum, equating to 7,000 tonnes, are tossed onto the nation’s roads and pavements each year, and the unattractive stains that are left behind by discarded chewing gum can have a negative effect on people’s perception of a business or area. Chewing gum is also a very difficult type of litter to remove and its sticky nature means conventional cleaning methods are frequently ineffective.

Considering these facts, it’s easy to see how UK councils spend a combined £150m annually, in the fight to remove those pesky blotches from our streets. To effectively remove discarded chewing gum, a highly efficient cleaning solution is required, and Rentokil Specialist Hygiene’s speedy chewing gum removal process offers minimal disruption to the business or area being treated.   

The utilisation of innovative chewing gum removal equipment and procedures can provide a fast, efficient and environmentally-friendly method of removing unsightly chewing gum from a range of surfaces including tarmac, bricks, concrete and tiled floors.   

There are two common methods you could consider for removal, depending on the surface to be treated. The first is to use steam with a ‘gum gun’, which melts the gum quickly off the surface. Alternatively, eco-blasting (which uses compressed air and an abrasive such as soda) is an effective way of removing chewing gum from some surfaces. Both of these methods can leave a discoloured speckled finish where the pieces of gum have protected the area they cover from the elements.  In these circumstances tarmac renewal paint or similar can be used to rejuvenate the appearance of the surface.

By consulting a specialist cleaning technician, you can facilitate the swift removal of chewing gum stains, which ensures an area remains clean and tidy, helping to discourage future chewing gum littering. 

If you require a professional cleaning service to un-stick your chewing gum problem - don’t just chew it over, why not consult one of our experts at Rentokil Specialist Hygiene?