Stop Gnawing On Plastic and Check Out These 5 Plastic-Free Chewing Gum Brands
by Rudy Sanchez on 08/02/2021 | 3 Minute Read
There’s plastic in chewing gum.
If you didn’t know that your chewy, pliable minty gum gets made with synthetic rubbers and plastics, you aren’t alone. As part of its plastic-free gum launch, UK-based supermarket chain Iceland commissioned a study that found 85% of UK respondents were unaware that chewing gum had plastic in it.
The US FDA allows multiple natural and synthetic substances to get labeled as “gum base,” which, admittedly, sounds innocuous until you start poking under the ingredients hood. Though the constituents of gum base are unique to each type of chewing gum, it can include synthetic materials such as butadiene-styrene, petroleum wax, polyethylene plastic, and polyvinyl acetate. You can also find those same materials in plastic bags, shoe soles, and glue.
Plus, the plastics in chewing gum suffer from the very shortcomings as the plastic it comes wrapped in—that slimy wad of spent gum will degrade in the same, slow toxic way as other plastic detritus, leaching microplastic as it sticks around in the environment for decades. And while the myth about swallowed gum staying in our system for seven years isn’t true, the impact of ingested microplastics on our health is still not understood and probably best to avoid if possible.
Fortunately, there are some plastic-free alternatives available made from natural gums that are biodegradable and compostable. Many brands avoid synthetic ingredients altogether, making chewing gums with natural flavorings and sweeteners.
Also, most plastic-free gum gets packaged in non-plastic packaging, which makes sense considering these brands went through the trouble of avoiding it in the product itself. Plus, many of the new kids on the block feature exceptional design and branding.
Oh My Gum!
Many plastic-free chewing gums are also vegan, as is the case with Oh My Gum! Available in mint and cinnamon, the boxes have a premium feel with thick cardstock, gold foil and are luxuriously minimal. The packaging is as plastic-free as the chicle-based chewing gum and recyclable. The overall presentation is so luxe that boxes of Oh My Gum! merit presentation on exquisite serving trays, like Fancy Feast.
Made out of natural tree sap, Forest Gum is plastic-free and natural. The flip-top boxes come in a refreshing and deep evergreen color as a backdrop to bright pastels and groovy type with characters that vary in weight and feel reminiscent of gum bubbles. Gum pellets fly down the front of the packaging, and one gets applied to the front for a nice 3D touch.
Another all-natural chewing gum, Chewsy, comes in four refreshing flavors, cinnamon, peppermint, spearmint, and lemon, which drive the visual language with red, blue, green, and yellow dominating each box. The packaging features images of each flavor, and the overall execution makes the brand feel traditional with a classic look.
Shark Tank alum Nuud chewing gum also comes packaged in small, recyclable, and plastic-free rectangular boxes. Nuud keeps it simple, with a playful word logo formed into a smile. The typeface has round teeth-like curves, and the boxes’ colors correspond to peppermint and spearmint, and Nuud even carries the plastic-free trust mark from A Plastic Planet.
Glee Gum is a natural, vegan, kosher, non-GMO, and plastic-free chewing gum with branding and packaging that seems inspired by a nostalgic, old-timey candy store, the kind that purposely spells it “shoppe” in its name. The graphics include a 50s style grinning mascot and wonderful vintage renditions of classic candy flavors like cinnamon, peppermint, spearmint, watermelon, mixed berry, lemon-lime, and, of course, bubble gum. The two-toned boxes with somewhat washed tones complete the nostalgic, candy-like wallop.