Solution to chewing gum's sticky problem

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The Independent Online
NON-STICK chewing gum could be on the streets - not literally you understand - within the next five years, a leading manufacturer said yesterday.

Wrigley, the American firm which dominates the market for the 13 million sticks of gum chewed in Britain every day, confirmed it is working on ways of re-engineering its product into a less sticky, bio-degradable alternative.

It is part of a new drive by confectioners, scientists and litter campaigners to cut down on the sticky business of discarded gum, which costs pounds 158m a year to clear off the nation's pavements.

In a separate project, Manchester-based scientists are in the early stages of researching street cleaners which use microwaves or lasers in the battle against spent gum.

Philip Hamilton, Wrigley's managing director, told PA News: "We have an in-house team who are looking at ingredients which will make gum less adhesive. We are also exploring gum which will break down over a period of time... but we don't expect to have a finished product for five to 10 years."